Electrical violations are among the Occupational Safety and Health’s (OSHA) top 10 most frequently cited violations each year. These violations occur when employees don’t follow the guidelines and standards designed to protect against shocks, fires, and explosions.
Understanding what the most common electrical violations are helps guide onboarding and training for your construction workers. This reduces the risk of injuries to your team. It also maintains compliance for your company.
Understand the most common electrical OSHA violations to increase the safety of your construction workers.
Electrical Wiring Methods
A significant number of electrical violations are due to having the wrong wire in the wrong outlet. This is because flexible cords and temporary wiring are not suitable for industrial settings.
- Flexible cords and temporary wiring cannot be run through walls, ceiling holes, doorways, or windows.
- The cords and wiring can strain, loosen, and tear.
- Temporary wires around sharp corners easily can be cut.
- Wires placed too close to metal or water increase the risk of electrocution.
General Electrical Requirements
The general requirements for electrical equipment often are overlooked.
- Workers bring to a job site unapproved equipment labeled for home use.
- Extension cords are plugged into power strips instead of the wall.
- Equipment is not installed and maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Extension cords touch water.
- Overhead power lines are not de-energized before working near them.
- Ladders, cranes, and aerial lifts are not the minimum clearance distance from overhead power lines.
- Workers touch metal objects energized by contact with live electrical equipment.
Control of Hazardous Energy
The greatest number of electrical violations usually is due to not preventing the release of energy while servicing and maintaining the machinery and equipment. Common reasons include poor documentation, inadequate employee protection and training, and lack of regular audits being performed.
- The machinery and equipment must be disabled, locked, and properly shut off before performing maintenance.
- Tags need to be attached to the locks to indicate the machinery or equipment is being worked on.
- Only qualified employees knowledgeable about OSHA safety rules and regulations can work on the machinery and equipment.
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