How can I protect myself against electrocution?

When it comes to electrocution, you may face a variety of hazards on job sites, such as electrical parts that are exposed, power tools that do not function properly, power lines and defective wiring. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 9 percent of all construction worker fatalities were the result of electrocution in 2005, which highlights the life-threatening dangers associated with electrical shock. If you work in San Bernardino, or anywhere else in California, there are a number of safety precautions you should keep in mind while on the job.

With overhead power lines, you should always have sufficient clearance. If you operate mobile heavy equipment (such as bulldozers or cranes), use ladders or use any other type of high reach equipment, you should always watch out for power lines. Never store materials under a power line and try to have the electricity shut off, when possible. Other preventative safety measures include the use of a ground-fault circuit interrupter, using an underground line locating service prior to digging and cordoning off areas beneath power lines with barricade tape.

You should also inspect equipment (such as extension cords and power tools) to ensure it works correctly, look for any signs of damage and always use the equipment as intended. For example, you should never carry tools by their cords or store them in a wet environment. Furthermore, you shouldn't work in damp environments or those with standing water, and you should try to keep your clothing dry at all times since water is a great material for electricity to quickly travel through. You can also reduce the risk of electrical shock by using non-conductive ladders, materials and tools.

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