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How to avoid electrocution in the workplace

If you work around electricity, there are various steps you can take to protect yourself against electrocution. Without these, you could make a mistake that results in serious injury or even death.

Here are five tips you can follow to avoid electrocution in the workplace:

  • Turn off the power: For example, you can shut off the power to a circuit or device at the breaker box. Even though it can be a hassle, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Test for power: It’s easy to believe there’s no power if you turn it off at the circuit breaker, but this isn’t always the case. Use a non-contact voltage tester to check the circuit and all electrical contacts around it.
  • Only use insulated tools: You hope that turning off the circuit is good enough, but you might as well take another step in protecting yourself. Insulated tools protect you against electrocution, such as in the event that you slip and touch a live wire.
  • Don’t disconnect or connect under load: When a device is plugged in, it’s under load. You should never attempt to disconnect or connect any device when there’s a flow of electricity. Instead, turn off the circuit, connect or disconnect and then test to ensure it’s working properly.
  • Use GFCIs when applicable: As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to always plug into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet. These are designed to detect electrical faults and shut off power to prevent shock. Note: GFCIs are particularly important when working in close proximity to water.

When you follow these tips, you’ll feel more confident in your ability to avoid electrocution in the workplace.

If something goes wrong, regardless of the reason, you shouldn’t hesitate to seek medical attention. Even a minor shock can cause serious injury, so a medical examination is a must.

Depending on the extent of your injury, you may find that you’re unable to immediately return to work. This should lead you to discuss your options with your employer and file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

Visit our website for more advice on how to obtain workers’ compensation benefits after an on-the-job injury in Pennsylvania.


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