BAC Protect Yourself From Electrocution:
Know How to Recognize and Avoid the Hazards
Journal: JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2000
Every day BAC members are exposed to potential electrical hazards. Knowing how to identify and avoid these hazards can mean the difference between life and death.
A 1998 health and safety survey conducted by the IU of members in each craft found that 3% of members are concerned about electrical hazards. Stone and marble masons, and tile mechanics and finishers were the crafts most concerned. And their concerns are justified. According to the Department of Labor’s National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, electrocutions accounted for 15% of workplace deaths in the construction industry. Job-related electrocutions caused by contact with overhead power lines accounted for roughly half of these deaths.
Don’t be a Statistic—Recognize the Hazards
You are at risk of contact with electrical current when working:
The following are some steps that you can take to avoid electrocution:
Members working on scaffolds are also advised to watch for any movement of scaffolding, the use of heavy equipment in relation to present power lines, ground slope or floor conditions that could change the elevation and alter the clearance distance between the scaffold and the power lines.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has regulations to help both contractors and their employees work safely on scaffolds and around electrical hazards.
OSHA requires contractors to:
For more information on how to protect yourself from electrocution, contact:
Editor’s Note: This safety brief is published in response to a request by Mary Mattson, widow of Local 9 Wisconsin bricklayer Mark Mattson, who was electrocuted last year while working on a scaffold. Mrs. Mattson, a registered nurse in Princeton, Wisconsin, asked us to warn other BAC members of the dangers of working near electricity.