March 15, 2010
Contact: Office of Communications
OSHA eTool explains ways to protect the safety of electric power workers
WASHINGTON -- Approximately 80 workers die from electric shock each year while working on electrical equipment or related utility operations. To help prevent such deaths, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently published the "Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Standard" eTool.
Recent deaths have illustrated the dangers of working with electric power. A worker installing decorative lights on a tree was electrocuted after touching a high-powered overhead electrical line. Another worker was electrocuted after contacting an overhead high-voltage line with a portable light tower while working at a water main repair site.
"We cannot allow these tragedies to continue," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels. "This eTool informs employers of their obligation to protect electrical workers from serious injuries and death, and also lets workers know the preventive steps their employers must take to assure worker safety."
This eTool addresses OSHA's standard and explains preventive measures for protecting workers' safety and health such as providing personal protective equipment, using lockout/tagout procedures to prevent startup of energized equipment and following safety requirements when working on or near power lines.
OSHA's eTools are stand-alone, interactive Web-based training tools on occupational safety and health topics that include modules for answering questions and providing advice on how OSHA regulations apply to users' worksites.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.