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Preventing Electrical Injuries at the Workplace Tom Dickey had years of experience in underground di- rectional boring when he made a mistake that changed his life. He was asked to do an addi- tional project at the end of the workday. His safety equipment was on a truck that had already left for the day, but he decided he had the experience to do this quick project. Tom made one small slip and received a high-voltage electric shock. Tom was fortunate to sur- vive, but he spent months recovering and lives in pain to this day. “You may get by with it a thousand times, but at some point it can happen to you,” says Tom. “I always thought that I was as good at doing what I did as anybody.” He says the most painful part of his experience was, “just watching my family and the suffering that they went through, the anguish that I know they were going


through freaking out about losing a dad or losing a hus- band.”


Electrical accidents are simply too dangerous to risk. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construc- tion and farming /ranching are two of the most danger- ous jobs in America. Electrical accidents—above and below ground—are a major risk in these fields. It is important to take proper safety precautions to avoid the tragic conse- quences of electrical accidents and contact with underground pipelines.


These tips from Safe Elec- tricity can help you stay safe in these fields of work: • Always use proper safety equipment, and get it inspected regularly to make sure it is still in good working order. • Call 8-1-1 before you dig, and get underground utilities identi- fied. Electricity, gas, and other underground utilities can be deadly if you make contact with them. • Keep large equipment 10 feet away from power lines in all direc- tions. Use a spotter to help you do this. If


you do come in contact with a power line, do not leave your equipment. In doing so, you become the electricity’s path to the ground and could receive a fatal shock. Stay in the equip- ment until utility workers de- energize the line. • Test circuits and conductors before working on them. • Follow lock out/tag out proce- dures, which require workers to isolate electricity before leaving a job.


Find additional safety infor- mation, and see the full story of Tom’s accident and recovery at SafeElectricity.org.


TOP - Know your surrounding when mowing around powerlines. BOTTOM - Padmount transformers have underground wires coming into them. Get a locate before you dig around one of these.


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