12-09-2013

When working on a construction site, many firms will have to deal with electricity. Whether they are erecting a brand new building or renovating existing premises, electricity will be required to power the site and it is important for contractors to be aware of the risks.

It goes without saying that electricity can be extremely dangerous and potentially fatal if not handled with care and respect. This guide will outline specific areas building firms need to be aware of and how they can ensure the safety of their employees on a construction site.

The biggest risks occur during the refurbishment of existing buildings, both commercial and domestic. Around three workers are electrocuted every year in this kind of situation and any specialist work must only be undertaken by qualified professionals who have trained in the field, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) notes.

Contractors have a duty to ensure any building sites are completely safe, while if they use equipment hire to obtain electrical tools, they need to be properly maintained at all times.

There are three main areas builders need to consider. As well as the more obvious electrical systems in buildings, they also need to think about overhead power lines. Alternatively, they may have to deal with underground cables, which can cause a great deal of harm if they are not properly managed.

The law states that any work on live systems should only be carried out in exceptional circumstances and only by a competent individual who is fully authorised. Even with a great deal of experience, these employees are still at risk and therefore contractors must manage the situation to ensure their safety as much as possible. They need to be provided with adequate information about the work that needs to be done and any electrical systems currently in place.

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