How To Work With Electricity

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. 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.

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.

Workers on sites can also encounter electricity through power tools, tool batteries, and other appliances.

Why Is Electricity Dangerous?

In any environment, electricity can cause several issues:

  • electrical shock and burns from contact with live wires and parts
  • fires and smoke from faulty wiring and appliances or tools
  • explosions from unsuitable electrical equipment

What Has To Be Done When Electricity Is On Site?

As with all hazards and risks, such as chemicals and asbestos too, a risk assessment needs to be carried out when dealing with electricity.

You need to work out what electrics are on site, or how people could come into contact with electrics, and then who would be harmed and what precautions are being taken to eliminate or reduce the risks.

Any electricals, such as tools or appliances, must be suitable for their intended use and only used for their intended purpose. So, don't try and tackle a tough job with a very cheap, low power tool and don't try and cut back on the amount of tools needed by cutting corners.

This is where tool hire from Speedy Services can really help. You can hire powerful equipment which is up for the job, without investing loads of money and needing to store them afterwards.

Cables must be properly protected on site, and everyone on site must be aware of the cables as a hazard. This is where generators or battery powered tools can really come in handy, as it eliminates a lot of the risks of running electrical tools.

Ensure all tools are only used by people who are qualified and trained in using them, too.

Repairs must be carried out by someone who is professional and knows what they are doing. Again, if you hire anything from Speedy Services, all tools are checked before each individual hire. You can also contact us if anything goes wrong, and we will carry out any repairs.

Key Points

  • Ensure people who use tools are qualified, trained and experienced
  • All electrical hazards must be identified (including power lines, tools and appliances)
  • Use the correct tools for the job
  • Qualified electricians should check all electrical sources over before work begins
  • Inform people on site of the risks, and try to minimise the hazards


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