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Workplace safety around electricity is vital

Employers in Missouri that have employees who work outdoors must provide proper safety training to make sure they are aware of the hazards posed by electricity. Workplace safety protocols are not only required indoors. Whether the workers are clearing up after storms, repairing a roof or digging a trench, electricity can cause fatal injuries.

One of the aspects of this power source the makes it so dangerous is the fact that it cannot be seen. A power line that is down after a storm may still be live, and raising it must be left to utility workers who are equipped to do the job. The same applies to power cables that are entangled in the limbs of trees after a severe storm. Cutting down the tree or the branches can cause deadly shocks.

Under Missouri law, any work planned to be done within 10 feet of overhead power lines must be cleared with the utility provider before work commences, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration considers a 20-foot clearance as a safer option. Similar rules apply when excavations are planned. Before any trenches are dug, the utility company must be advised, and they will put markers out to indicate the presence of underground utility lines.

These precautions are not only to avoid interruption of an area’s electricity but also primarily to avoid deadly electrical shocks. Any workers who are victims of lax workplace safety protocols that led to injuries, or are otherwise hurt on the job, may seek financial assistance through the Missouri workers’ compensation insurance program. Along with coverage of medical expenses related to the injury, benefits will include a percentage of lost wages for those whose injuries caused temporary disability.

Source: boonecountryconnection.com, “Electric Safety Tips While Working Outdoors“, July 6, 2017