OSHA Releases Electric Power Safety eTool

Approximately 80 workers die from electric shock each year while working on electrical equipment or related utility operations. To help prevent such deaths, OSHA 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 David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. "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."

The 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.

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