Section 1 Electricity Is Dangerous
Whenever you work with power tools or on electrical circuits, there is a risk of electrical hazards, especially electrical shock. Anyone can be exposed to these hazards at home or at work. Workers are exposed to more hazards because job sites can be cluttered with tools and materials, fast-paced, and open to the weather. Risk is also higher at work because many jobs involve electric power tools.
Electrical trades workers must pay special attention to electrical haz- ards because they work on electrical circuits. Coming in contact with an electrical voltage can cause current to flow through the body, resulting in electrical shock and burns. Serious injury or even death may occur. As a source of energy, electricity is used without much thought about the hazards it can cause. Because electricity is a famil- iar part of our lives, it often is not treated with enough caution. As a result, an average of one worker is electrocuted on the job every day of every year!
Note to the learner—This manual describes the hazards of electrical work and basic approaches to working safely. You will learn skills to help you recognize, evaluate, and control electrical hazards. This information will prepare you for addi- tional safety training such as hands-on exercises and more detailed reviews of regulations for electrical work.
Your employer, co-workers, and communi- ty will depend on your expertise. Start your career off right by learning safe prac- tices and developing good safety habits. Safety is a very important part of any job. Do it right from the start.
❚ Electrical shock may cause injury or death!
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Research File for 1992–2005, electrocution is the fifth leading cause of work-related deaths for 16- to 19-year-olds, after motor vehicle deaths, contact with objects and equipment, work- place homicide, and falls. Electrocution is the cause of 7% of all workplace deaths among young workers aged 16–19, causing an average of 10 deaths per year.1
Electrical work can be deadly if not done safely.