According to a recent report from DEKRA (a safety consultancy company), utility jobs have one of the highest rates of serious injuries and fatalities when compared to similar industries. Not only are there job-specific hazards in the utility field, but there are also many elemental, electrical, vehicle, and other dangers as well.
When working jobs in the electric, gas, sewer, and water sectors, the potential safety issues can be unrelenting and numerous. It truly is an industry where a little extra attention goes a long way in preventing potential injuries.
Whether you’re a safety manager or a utility employee, below are some tips to stay safe while on your next job.
Know the procedures:
Every job site should have clearly posted safety signs and labels both to prevent accidents and to provide guidance should an accident happen. Ensure both yourself and everyone on your team is familiar with these guidelines and is prepared to execute any necessary actions in the event of an accident. Make sure that they’re posted in obvious locations and are simple to find should the need arise.
While it can be tempting to bend, reach, lift, and stretch to get things done quickly, make sure you stay limber. Many preventable injuries happen because muscles and ligaments weren’t properly warmed up. Spend some time learning dynamic and static stretches, and ensure that you follow a flexibility regiment to help protect yourself on the job.
Stay mindful of conditions:
While it may seem simple, many injuries are caused by things that we tend to overlook. It’s important to always be mindful of what’s in front of you. When walking, climbing, lifting, or doing any other work, pay close attention to the local area. Is the ground wet? Are your views unobstructed? Can you clearly see where you’re going? All of these are important considerations to help avoid injury.
On any job site, effective communication is critical. Communication can be difficult on loud sites, so it’s important to have well established non-verbal signals. Also, having easily accessible noise-signaling gear (such as a safety whistle) can ensure help is quickly and effectively notified in the event of an emergency.
Do not rush:
While it can be tempting to rush to do routine tasks, it’s important to step back and ensure safety is the priority. Many preventable injuries occur when proper attention isn’t paid in hopes of accomplishing something faster. Always take time to step back and analyze whether proper safety measures have been taken, even if it’s a task you do all the time.
Ultimately, the key is to ensure that you take personal responsibility for the safety of yourself and those around you. A little extra attention goes a very long way in preventing accidents and injury, and that all starts with everyone on site.