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S A F E T Y M O D E L S TAG E 3 — C O N T rO L L I N G H A Z A r D S : S A F E WO r K P r AC T I C E S

A 22-year-old male carpenter was building the wooden framework of a laundry building. He was using p o r t a b l e p o w e r t o o l s . E l e c t r i c i t y w a s s u p p l i e d t o t h e t o o l s b y a t e m p o r a r y s e r v i c e p o l e 5 0 f e e t a w a y . The service pole had not been inspected and was not in compliance. It was also not grounded. The carpenter plugged a “homemade” cord into the service pole and then plugged a UL-approved cord into the homemade cord. His power saw was plugged into the UL-approved cord.

The site was wet. Humidity was high and the carpenter was sweating. Reportedl , he was mildly shocked throughout the morning and replaced the extension cord he was using in an effort to stop the shocks. At one point, as he was climbing down a makeshift ladder constructed from a floor truss, he shifted the power saw from his right hand to his left hand and was shocked. He fell from the ladder into a puddle of wate , still hold- ing the saw. The current had caused his hand to contract, and he was “locked” to the saw. A co-worker disconnected the power cord to the saw. CPR was given, but the shock was fatal.

Attention to these general safety principles could have prevented this death.

  • Any and all electrical equipment involved in a malfunction should be taken out of service immediately. The carpenter should have taken the saw out of service, not just the extension cord. (As it turns out, the saw was the source of the shocks, not the cord.)

  • Although the homemade extension cord does not seem to have contributed to this incident, it should not have been used.

  • The floor truss should not have been used as a ladder. For climbing, use only approved ladders or other equipment designed specifically for climbing.

  • Do not work in wet areas. The water should have been removed from the floor as soon as it was found. Humidity and perspiration can also be hazards. ry to stay as dry as possible, be alert, and take action to protect yourself when needed.

  • OSHA requires that all receptacles at construction sites that are not part of the permanent wiring have GFCIs.

  • Be aware that shocks can cause you to lose your balance and fall, often resulting in more severe injury.

wire. Power tools with metal housings or only one layer of effective insulation must have a third ground wire and three-prong plug.

Wear and maintain PPE.

Use multiple safe practices—Remember: A circuit may not be wired correctly. Wires may contact other “hot” circuits. Someone else may do something to place you in danger. Take all possible precautions.

Wear correct PPE

OSHA requires that you be provided with personal protective equip- ment (PPE). This equipment must meet OSHA requirements and be appropriate for the parts of the body that need protection and the work performed. There are many types of PPE: rubber gloves, insu- lating shoes and boots, face shields, safety glasses, hard hats, etc. Even if regulations did not exist requiring the use of PPE, there would still be every reason to use this equipment. PPE helps keep you safe. It is the last line of defense between you and the hazard.

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Section 8

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