Electrical contractors are responsible for the health and safety of employees who are exposed to a variety of hazards. Some of these hazards are obvious, such as electrical shock and electrocution. Others, such as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), back injuries, slips and falls, or automobile-related incidents may not be as obvious. The occurrence of these injuries is increasing as the scope of work performed by the typical electrical contractor and the age of the work population increases. While much of their work is still concentrated in construction, they may also perform building maintenance or installation of data an networking applications.
This section highlights OSHA standards, the Regulatory Agenda (a list of actions being taken with regard to OSHA standards), directives (instructions for compliance officers), standard interpretations (official letters of interpretation of the standards), and national consensus standards related to the electrical contractors industry.
Note: Twenty-five states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved State Plans and have adopted their own standards and enforcement policies. For the most part, these States adopt standards that are identical to Federal OSHA. However, some States have adopted different standards applicable to this topic or may have different enforcement policies.
Frequently Cited Standards
A listing of the most frequently cited standards by Federal OSHA for Electrical Work Industry Group (SIC Code 1731) is available.
Other Highlighted Standards
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
Hazards and Solutions
In electrical work, hazards exist in many forms. Ergonomic hazards include musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) caused by repetitive motions, contact stress from poorly designed tools, and poor lifting and handling practices. Slip and fall hazards are frequently present due to the high places and rough ground that electricians must navigate. Motor vehicles are also a source of hazards, and electrocution hazards are present in many phases of the electrical process.
Slips, trips, and falls together account for a large portion of on-the-job accidents that electrical workers experience. These links discuss methods of eliminating such mishaps, from correct personal fall arrest systems to proper ladder usage.
Safety and Health Programs
An effective safety and health program depends on the credibility of management's involvement in the program, inclusion of employees in safety and health decisions, rigorous worksite analysis to identify hazards and potential hazards, including those which could result from a change in worksite conditions or practices, stringent prevention and control measures, and thorough training. It addresses hazards whether or not they are regulated by government standards. The following references characterize and further explain safety and health programs.
Related Safety and Health Topics Pages
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