Among the many workplace hazards that are often the most deadly, electricity is an extremely dangerous element of nearly every workplace. For those whose jobs involve regular exposure to high voltage electrical equipment, there are many ways to be severely harmed or killed. Staying safe in those circumstances begins with educating yourself to the dangers that are present.

Some of the greatest dangers can occur when a worker is vulnerable to contact with main power lines. These can either be suspended in the air on poles or buried in the ground, but both carry very high voltages that are very frequently fatal for those who come into contact with them. Often, an employee may be using a tool that is conductive while in the presence of a power line. Unsafe behavior can easily lead to fatal or very harmful electrocution if the tools touch a power line. These may include metal ladders, industrial equipment like cranes and backhoes or things like scaffolding and metal construction material.

There are some common sense precautions one can take to increase safety in the presence of power lines. First, it is important to know where a high powered line may be, whether suspended or buried in the ground. Further precautions may include using non-conductive tools when possible, such as wooden or fiberglass ladders. If you are not sure if a line is currently carrying power, always assume that it is.

Even for those who take all the best precautions, harmful or fatal accidents can still occur. If you are injured on the job, you may qualify for compensation for your losses. An experienced attorney can help you evaluate your experience and protect your rights as you pursue justice.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “Electrical Incidents,” accessed Dec. 22, 2016