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9 Jobsite Electrical Safety Tips You Need to Know


Whether you’re an electrical contractor, a manufacturing operator at an industrial facility, or anything in between, chances are you’ve developed a respect for electricity. Being attentive to and understanding the potential dangers of electricity is what allows us to live and work around electricity without incident. 

However, accidents involving injury due to electrical shock and burns still occur. This is especially true within the construction industry, as electrocution is one of the Fatal Four hazards of construction work. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to frequently review electrical safety tips and encourage your team to do the same. 

Here’s a list of electrical safety tips to keep in mind each day on the jobsite. 

9 Essential Electrical Safety Tips 

1. Be aware of your surroundings

There are many hazards on construction jobsites, and being aware of your surroundings is a great way to protect yourself against not only electrical hazards but other potential hazards as well. In general, it’s best to inspect your site daily and specifically note any areas where electrical hazards may be present — especially areas that may have live electrical wiring. 

Power lines are a particularly serious electrical hazard due to their extremely high voltages. Always avoid working near power lines when possible, and never store equipment or items beneath power lines. When it’s necessary for equipment or personnel to work in proximity to overhead power lines, be sure nothing falls within the minimum clearance distance for the line (determined by line voltage). 

2. Regularly inspect PPE

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is essential for every construction jobsite. For electrical construction work, PPE such as electrical gloves or face shields is critical in protecting yourself against the dangers of electricity. But for PPE to work properly, it must be in good working condition. 

Inspect all PPE regularly to spot any potential damage that may compromise the equipment. Be sure you know when it’s necessary to replace your PPE — for example, if your gloves have any rips or tears, always replace them. Additionally, always confirm that PPE meets OSHA requirements and ANSI standards applicable to the type of PPE being used. 

3. Visually inspect electrical equipment daily

Like PPE, it’s imperative to inspect electrical equipment each day — especially the cord or plug. Your team should be properly trained to identify potential hazards such as cracks or breaks and how to proceed should they discover one of these issues. 

In general, it should be assumed that any damage to the electrical components of equipment poses a serious electrical hazard and that using the equipment can result in injury or electrocution. Never plug in or operate visibly damaged tools or other electrical equipment, and don’t attempt to fix the equipment unless you are qualified to do so. 

4. Handle equipment and tools with care

Once you’ve inspected your electrical equipment and determined it’s ready for use, the job isn’t quite finished. When working with electrical equipment and tools, it’s essential to handle them with care.

This is especially important for equipment that plugs into a power source. Avoid carrying tools by their cord, stapling the cord to a wall, yanking the cord from a power source, and handling the cord in any other way that may cause damage. 

Generally, ensure that your team has proper training on how to handle each tool or piece of equipment that they will use. Even experienced professionals may need training on unfamiliar tools and equipment, so it’s important not to overlook the importance of proper training to avoid electrical hazards. 

5. Invest in high-quality testing equipment

Testing equipment, such as clamp meters and voltage detectors, can be a (literal) lifesaver on the job. Therefore, it’s important to invest in high-quality, approved testing equipment to ensure these devices won’t fail when you need them most. And once you have the right tools, utilize them to test all wiring — never leave anything to chance. 

6. Organize and cover leads, cords, and cables

Messy, scattered, and uncovered leads, cords, and cables present various issues on construction sites. Not only can unorganized cables and cords lead to falls and trips — another major construction industry hazard — but they also present a potential electrical hazard if the cords become damaged. 

All exposed cables and cords should be well-organized and properly covered with insulating material. When not in use, it’s best to store them away. 

7. Never work in wet or damp conditions

It doesn’t take a certified electrician to know that water and electricity don’t mix. That said, one important electrical safety tip is to understand how to proceed should your site be damp or wet upon arrival. 

Natural hazard procedures should be outlined and documented during the planning stage of your project. This will allow you and your team to be prepared for these events and understand how to ensure their safety and the safety of those around them. 

In general, any wetness or dampness in the presence of electrical equipment poses a serious threat and should be reported immediately. Never operate wet equipment or operate equipment while standing in or near water.  

8. Utilize safety signage and barriers

Not only is using safety signage an important electrical safety tip, but it’s also a necessity in the workplace. OSHA requires that electrical safety signage be used wherever electrical hazards are present. 

To ensure compliance and the safety of all on your site, use approved signage to mark all electrical hazards. Proper signage will include illustrations as well as text — this way, everyone on the site can easily understand that an electrical hazard is present. Barriers can also be used to close off potentially dangerous areas. 

9. Stay vigilant!

While it may go without saying, one of the most important electrical safety tips is to always stay vigilant on the job. Follow all safety procedures and continually refresh your knowledge with safety training or by seeking out other resources. It’s easy to become complacent, especially if you’re a seasoned pro, but consistently practicing the best electrical safety habits will help you and your team avoid potentially serious situations. 

How Crescent Can Help 

Being mindful of electrical safety tips can be the difference between an injury and a successful job. Keeping the above tips in mind can help you and your team stay safe on the jobsite. 

But why stop there — if you’re looking for a safety and security partner for your projects, you’ve come to the right place. Crescent is committed to helping you and your team stay safe and make it home to what’s most important each night. We carry a wide range of products designed to keep you safe — from PPE to testing equipment — from the brands you trust most. Plus, it’s easier than ever to get what you need when you need it when you order online. 

Create an account today to get started, or contact us to learn more about how we can help you improve safety and security! 

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