OSHA's Top Five
Accidents involving electricity
are one of the top four killers at construction sites. Each
year, approximately 17% of all construction fatalities are
a result of an electrical accident.
This tool box talk highlights the
recent top five electrical safety violations. This is a good
place to start when working with electricity and the problems
found at typical jobsites.
#1 Ground fault protection
Electrical circuits and equipment
must be protected by either ground fault circuit interrupters
or an assured equipment grounding conductor program to protect
employees on construction sites.
Ground fault electrical shocks
are the most common electrical jobsite hazard. This rule is
designed to take away that hazard.
#2 Temporary wiring
Temporary electrical power and
lighting wiring methods may be of a class less than would
be required for a permanent installation. Except as specifically
modified in §1926.405(a)(2) of the construction regulations, all wiring must meet
the requirements for permanent wiring. Temporary wiring must
be removed immediately upon completion of construction or
the purpose for which the wiring was installed.
#3 Path to ground
The path to ground from circuits,
equipment, and enclosures must be permanent and continuous.
Temporary wiring and extension
cords are a major part of the construction jobsite. Interrupted
equipment grounds are an invitation to disaster.
#4 Flexible cords and cables
- Identification, splices, and terminations
The OSHA regulations cover the
requirements for flexible cords and cables. This is OSHA's
term for extension cords. Covered is requirements for:
identifying the grounded
conductor (usually green).
flexible cord marking requirements (i.e., SJO, STO, etc.).
requirements for splicing/repairing extension cords.
strain relief requirements.
#5 Installation and use of equipment
Listed, labeled, or certified equipment
must be installed and used in accordance with instructions
included in the listing, labeling, or certification.
At times, electrical equipment
is installed or used in a manner for which it was not designed.
A good example is the multi-receptacle outlet box. It is designed
to be mounted but is some times fitted with a power cord and
placed on the floor to provide power for various tools.
When not installed, tested, inspected, and used properly,
electrical equipment can be deadly. Do not use electrical
equipment that is obviously bad.