Utility Worker Safety Precautions | Best Workplace Safety Practices
Safety Precautions Guide For Utility Workers
Utility workers dealing with electrical, natural gas, water, sewerage, or other areas need to take safety precautions seriously. These can be seriously dangerous industries to work in, and they pose a wide range of risks and health hazards to those who are unprepared.
There are countless risks presented in utility work. These include working at serious heights, dealing with high voltage electricity, being exposed to dangerous chemicals, or using power tools. The list can go on as there are many unique situations in utility work – each with their own dangers.
Following the correct safety protocol and best practices within utility work can make a major impact. Let’s explore some of the best safety precautions and procedures for utility workers to follow
8 Safety Precautions That Utility Workers Should Take To Keep Safe
Sometimes, it may seem easier to just skip out on seemingly annoying or unnecessary safety precautions. However, this could cause major damage as there are always serious risks involved in utility work. Here are some top safety practices to always keep in mind.
Wear The Appropriate Protective Gear
Personal protective equipment (PPE) plays one of the most vital roles in safety around the workplace. Remembering to always wear the correct PPE could save your life. It provides the necessary barrier of safety between the worker and risk. So, when it comes to utility worker safety, inadequate PPE can be a major cause of accidents on the job.
Depending on the exact field of work, different PPE requirements may apply. Though, all companies should have strict regulations and policies on what workers need to wear during the job.
Common examples of essential PPE include:
● Hardshell helmets
● Safety goggles
● Flame resistant uniforms
There are also guidelines, such as keeping clothing tight and tucked in, or working in layers when working in close proximity to electric arc hazards.
Always consult with OSHA safety standards around PPE before heading onto a new job site.
Prevent Electrocution With Proper Electricity Safety Elements
Negligence around electrical safety is another major cause of workplace incidents. Electrical wiring accidents can be fatal, while electrical hazards cause loads of injuries on a regular basis. Following all necessary precautions can prevent common electrical accidents.
The correct electricity safety elements need to be used in order to avoid electrocution. Workers need to always be aware of overhead wires, use cover-ups, and look out for any exposed energized bits of
Using proper electricity safety elements is essential to any job. So, employers need to supply their workers with the correct safety procedures and tools for dangerous electrical work.
It is also important to carry out the necessary training around electrical safety and risks before hazardous jobs. When working on electrical sites, OSHAs related safety precautions are the industry standard.
Report Any And All Workplace Hazards
Accidents occur through negligence by those on the job, but they can also be caused due to hazards that haven’t been dealt with. No matter what kind of job or equipment may be involved, if a worker identifies a hazard, then they need to report it straight away. Organizations must handle any workplace hazards immediately through correct protocol and best practices to ensure safety.
Utility workers need to be in environments where hazards are clearly marked out, equipment is well-maintained, and dangerous areas are properly managed.
Workplace hazards will only pose larger threats if they are not dealt with, so it is important to report them whenever found. This will help to ensure that fewer accidents occur due to hazards being left unreported.
Avoid Falls With Fall Prevention Systems
Slips, trips, and falls are common risks in utility work. Avoiding falls altogether is the best solution – something that workers can achieve with the correct safety precautions.
Walkways, platforms, and flooring that is not level should always be clearly marked. Safety barriers, rails, and handles should also always be in places where there is the risk of a fall.
For workers in very dangerous situations, they should utilize rigging, harnesses, and safety nets. The floor should also always be the correct material for the job at hand and workers need to wear proper safety footwear.
Using fall prevention systems like this can help to avoid many common accidents. Falls can be the cause of some very serious injuries in the workplace. So, this is a simple area that workers and utility companies
should take seriously.
Know Your Emergency Response Protocol
Avoiding accidents is the top priority. But, in dangerous industries, accidents are bound to happen every now and then. In order to minimize harm, all workers need to know the correct emergency response protocol. Efficient emergency response can help to save lives or vastly reduce the impact of the accident.
Workers must have the appropriate emergency response numbers at the ready. They should also have training in how to deal with accidents once they happen. If an unexpected incident arises, then having an effective emergency response protocol in place will make all the difference.
There should be a strict set of policies and procedures in place that will cover all workers, no matter what occurs.
Check Out The Weather Forecast
Protecting yourself when out in the field has a lot to do with the kind of equipment you use. But it also needs to be done in line with the weather. Most utility work occurs outdoors, so workers need to make sure that they are best suited to work with the elements.
Safety precautions in terms of weather could include wearing an appropriate uniform for each season. In summer, workers need to be vigilant of heatstroke as it can commonly occur when wearing full-body protection. In cold conditions, they need to ensure that they have the appropriate gear for prolonged exposure to the cold as this can also pose a major risk.
Over exhaustion is a serious issue with utility workers. If your employees are working long hours, and are constantly on the job, they will develop major fatigue. Taking physical strain in the workplace is a risky business. It can result in all kinds of accidents.
Taking regular breaks, and keeping fed and hydrated are necessary steps for keeping the body and mind alert. Workers in dangerous environments always need to perform in their best physical condition. This will mean they are more alert, focused, and quick to react to any potential dangers.
Working with dangerous chemicals can pose some serious risks. There are a number of biological and chemical hazards associated with sewerage and related fields of work. Common risks can include hepatitis, tetanus, and skin infections.
When in an environment of chemical risk, always wear the correct protective gear. Workers also need to make sure that they do not prolong the amount of time they are exposed to these chemicals. Biological hazards come with their own set of unique safety precautions and protocols. So, it is crucial that workers adhere to these.
The Bottom Line
Utility workers can find themselves in all kinds of hazardous situations. Following the correct safety precautions can offer a life-changing result.
There are OSHA practices and industry standards that utility workers should always follow. Yet, each workplace is unique. So, appropriate safety precautions should always be taken for each circumstance.
Whether it is electrical, chemical, water, or gas work, utility workers are exposed to unique risks in all kinds of environments. Following the standard sets of safety requirements, and understanding the dangers of each job is crucial! Thus, a strong commitment to safety and proper training should always be a priority in his line of occupation.