A typical construction site in London comprises electrical appliances and components, machinery, and other equipment that may pose potential fire hazards. If left unchecked, faulty, poorly connected, or outdated electrical components or equipment can pose electrical risks, which may eventually cause minor or severe injuries to site workers.
To protect a construction site from potential property damage and site workers from injuries resulting from electrical hazards, it’s essential you put appropriate measures in place. These measures will go a long way in ensuring that the construction site is safe for you and your workers.
Below we have highlighted some ways to prevent electrical hazards in the construction site.
Causes of Electrical Hazards in Construction Sites
Electrical hazards on construction sites are caused by many factors. According to OSHA, these factors are:
- Contact with overhead power lines
- Inadequate wiring
- Using electrical equipment in wet areas
- Wrong grounding
- Exposed electrical parts like cables
- Faulty insulation
- Faulty power tools and equipment
- Overloaded circuits
Of course, there are other sources of electrical hazards on a construction site. It is the job of the foreman or construction manager to ensure that the construction site is safe for workers.
Here are some effective ways to prevent electrical hazards on the construction site and boost workers’ safety.
- Prioritize Personal Protection
It is standard practice to provide PPE for all site workers, regardless of the job they are doing. Providing personal protection to everyone on your team should be your priority before considering other safety equipment.
A quality personal protection kit will protect your team against electrical mishaps, including other safety risks. The number of personal protection wears needed will depend on your team’s exposure to electricity.
Encourage site workers to use electrical gloves and footwear while handling electrical materials and equipment as they offer basic safety. Face shields, fire-resistant helmets, protective eyewear, and earmuffs can come in handy while working with wiring or during close contact with electrical equipment.
- 2. Test Site Equipment Regularly
In addition to providing the necessary PPEs for site workers, it is advised that you carry out regular inspections of the construction site equipment. First, you can consider conducting a visual assessment of the site equipment.
The inspection should be conducted by a site worker who has enough information and knowledge of what to look for, what is acceptable, and what isn’t. It is also essential you conduct PAT testing London to ensure that all portable devices on the construction site are safe to use. Plus, every three months, ensure you test all 110V equipment often used on the site.
- Risk Assessments
Before you and your team begin work on a site, we advise that you conduct a thorough and comprehensive risk assessment. The assessment aims to determine the potential electrical hazards on the site and create measures to ensure that they don’t cause harm to the site workers.
Here is a summary of how to conduct a risk assessment on a construction site.
- Determine potential hazards
- Determine who might be harmed by those hazards
- Evaluate risks (severity and probability) and establish effective precautions
- Implement controls and record your findings
- Review your assessment and carry out a re-assessment if needed
After carrying out an exhaustive risk assessment, ensure you study the result appropriately to understand which hazards you need to watch.
- Train Site Workers on the Proper Use of Electrical Equipment Handling.
Modern equipment can be hard to operate. Some of their instructions are also very complex for a non-electrician to understand. The same applies to some power tools like a heat gun, miter saw, etc. Thus, before kick-starting a construction project, it is essential you lecture site workers on how to handle the equipment on site. This will help prevent potential injuries, including burning, damage, or explosion of expensive construction equipment.
- Voltage Regulators and Circuit Breakers
Voltage regulators and circuit breakers are essential pieces of safety gadgets that can prevent a problem before it escalates. Prioritize the use of surge protectors to shut off the site’s power supply during an emergency. Use a voltage regulator to prevent damage to expensive equipment, especially during electrical surges.
Electrical hazards are common in construction sites due to the presence of electrical components and equipment. To minimize or prevent the possibility of electrical hazard, always conduct risk assessment and prioritize the use of PPEs on the construction site. Also, make sure all portable electrical equipment is tested ro reduce the risks electrical equipment pose to the construction site.