7 Tips for Improving Safety for Utility Workers

7 Tips for Improving Safety for Utility Workers

Both utility and industrial work can come with varying risks to employees since workers must use various tools and work in dangerous environments. For example, while replacing a sewer line, contractors may need to work in a trench, leading to slips or cave-ins. By investigating tips for improving safety for utility workers and establishing a safety system, you can keep all of your workers safe regardless of the job type.

Require Protective Gear
Wearing protective gear is not a suggestion but instead a requirement. According to OSHA, employees must wear full-body protection to prevent bodily exposure. Sometimes, this means fire-retardant uniforms, and other times it means wearing hard hats and gloves. The essential protective gear depends on the task workers will do.

Utilize Signs
Slips, falls, and other accidents are possible in this field of work, but you can easily prevent a catastrophe by keeping signs in the area. If you dig out a trench, set up signs to warn individuals, and if there are loose wires in the area, put up signs to warn of the risk of electrocution.

Know the Common Hazards
Some injuries and hazards are more common than others, but it becomes much easier to prevent them by understanding them. If your utility contractors do work that involves trenching, then you should note the common trenching safety hazards. However, utility workers focused on other areas of expertise may have other dangers to worry about.

Prevent Electrocution
While signs help prevent electrocution, this isn’t the only thing you should do to avoid this type of disaster. Many recommend avoiding these types of incidents by requiring proper electrical safety courses. Additionally, scope out the work area for things like underground utility lines before you begin working since hitting this, or an overhead wire is a simple mistake with major consequences.

Weather-Related Safety
Both extreme cold and heat are dangerous, and workers should avoid extended exposure to these temperatures. If workers must be outside, ensure they have the necessary gear to face the elements. They shouldn’t be outside too long in winter since this could lead to hypothermia, frostbite, or other conditions. Similarly, extended exposure to the heat could lead to dehydration, exhaustion, or heat stroke.  

Establish Appropriate Breaks
As workers get tired, they’re more likely to make mistakes. For example, a tired worker may fail to follow safety precautions when operating heavy machinery, which puts them and everyone in the area at risk. Worksite managers should note signs of fatigue and require workers to take breaks as soon as they begin displaying these signs.

Have an Emergency Plan
One of the most essential tips for improving safety for utility workers is to create a plan of action. You can do everything in your power to prevent the chances of an accent yet still have one occur for any variety of reasons. Create a plan for how workers should behave in these situations and a protocol as to what must happen. By working as a team, workers can keep themselves and one another safe.

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