If energy companies do not manage the dangers of electricity properly it can cause serious injury or death to their workers. The risks of working with electricity are real and not enough is being done to reduce these risks, as on average 11 people are still dying each year because they came into contact with electricity. Alarmingly for power companies, 87% of the 142 workers who lost their lives between 2003 and 2015 died from electrocution while installing electrical infrastructure.
For the risks associated with working around electricity to be significantly reduced, electricity must be carefully controlled, and energy company workers need to be educated on the control measures put in place.
Risks Associated with Electricity
The likelihood of a worker being seriously injured or killed while working with electricity is generally linked to the working environment, and how electricity is being used. There is a greater danger of working with electricity if the work is outdoors – this is due to the increased chance of equipment becoming wet or damaged.
Workers who operate in electrical environments or with electrical equipment also face far greater risk when working alone or in a rural or remote location. The ability to act immediately and get medical assistance as soon as possible after someone has been electrocuted can have a significant influence over the long-term health outcomes for the victim.
What can be done?
Luckily, advances in technology over the past decade have resulted in a number of solutions to minimise the risks to workers who are alone or in dangerous or rural locations. Telematics have played a significant role in these developments as they have allowed organisations to constantly track the exact location of their workers. On top of being able to track the live location of their staff, technology progression has seen the development of specialised lone worker safety solutions, which allow them to instantly alert their company headquarters and notify them if urgent assistance is required.
The development of safety and tracking solutions such as these has had a very positive impact on all utility workers, but particularly those facing the dangers of electricity. Not only do these developments improve the safety of current workers, but they also serve to attract highly skilled workers to the organisations with these safety solutions in place.