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Electrical rules can help prevent dangerous accidents

Electrical workers in Missouri can face serious dangers on the job. Mistakes with electricity, after all, can be catastrophic and even life-threatening. There are a number of regulations in place that aim to make the workplace safer for employees, especially those dealing with inherently hazardous materials like live electricity. Many of these regulations are implemented federally by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the agency charged with implementing and enforcing rules to protect workplace safety. However, OSHA also generally seeks to expand partnerships with private industry in developing regulations.

One result of such a partnership is NFPA 70E, a standard for workplace safety when dealing with electricity. The standard was initially developed by private industry and is thus responsive to the needs of employers on the job as well. However, it is designed to provide some level of electrical safety on the job. There are two ways to approach this set of regulations: as a set of rules for workplace safety or as overall guidelines to enhance efficiency. While the framework laid out in NFPA 70E is designed to protect workplace safety and prevent dangerous electrical accidents, it can also support increased productivity.

The standard requires advance planning before beginning electrical work. For example, workers must gather all necessary materials, including ladders, tools and personal protective gear, before beginning the electrical work. A walk-through of the procedure to come can identify potential safety pitfalls. This can avoid repairs or redone jobs that face problems due to a failure to plan.

Unfortunately, many workers are employed at sites that fail to follow federal safety regulations or provide proper protective equipment. Employees who have been hurt on the job can consult with a workers' compensation lawyer about the actions they might take to protect their rights and pursue the compensation they need.

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