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The risk of electrocution on the jobsite

Although new safety programs and procedures have been implemented at many construction worksites in Maryland and across the U.S., workers continue to get electrocuted while working on the job. Electrocution is the fourth leading cause of death in the construction industry. Statistics show that over a 12-year period, 1,715 workers were killed as a result of electrocution, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. While electricians were the most likely to be electrocuted, construction laborers, carpenters, non-electrical supervisors and roofers also lost their lives in these unfortunate accidents.

How are people dying from these electrical jolts? In most cases, workers came into direct contact with electrical wiring and other equipment that conducts powerful currents, including bare wiring, damaged wires, live parts or defective equipment. Overhead powerlines and other types of electrical machinery were also to blame for these catastrophic and preventable accidents. Finally, improper use of extension cords also lead to a host of electrocution accidents involving electrical shock, thermal contact burns or arc burns.

While employers may train their employees to always be cautious around electrical powerlines, it is crucial that workers ensure they are utilizing safe practices around these dangerous objects. Electrical workers should be sure to de-energize the areas where they are working, and only attend to circuits that have the proper permits. Workers should always wear protective gear and use only the tools that are required for the job. They should also avoid performing electrical work in bad weather conditions in order to prevent a bad situation from occurring. 

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