Arc Flash & Electrical Safety News

Blog Author Steve Hudgik

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Reaching New Heights

The cover story in the May issue of Electrical Contracting Products is called "Reaching New Heights". It provides a overview of selecting the proper ladder or lift, and of the safety concerns electrical contractors may have with ladders and lifts. It is a good article for anyone who needs to be working above ground level.

The article opens by noting: "According to OSHA, falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry. From 1995 to 1999, an average 362 fatal falls occurred each year."

After discussing ladder design and ratings, and the selection of the proper ladder material (fiberglass is recommended for electrical work), the three important ladder related questions are identified:

"At what height will you be working from? Many manufacturers will provide a height safety chart that will show the ladders height as well as the maximum safe reaching height."

"What type of jobs will be performed? For instance, not only will you need to consider your own weight, but also the tools you may use while on the ladder. "

"What type of material is appropriate for the job?
If the ladder will be used near an electrical hazard, then a non-conductive fiberglass ladder must be selected."

The article also discusses work platforms used for electrical work, such as scissor lifts. It discusses selection criteria, common causes of accidents, safety concerns and maintenance concerns.

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