Portable generators are commonly used in construction in order to generate electricity in remote areas or for temporary situations. Many times generators are used during clean up processes following disasters. While generators can be helpful and necessary, they can result in shock and electrocution if they are not used properly. According to OSHA, utility workers can suffer shock and electrocution if they connect the generator incorrectly to a structure.
In order to protect individuals from injuring or deadly shock, it is important for workers to maintain and operate portable generators in accordance with the guidelines provided in the owner’s manual. As well, it is important to never attach a portable generator directly to the electrical system of any structure, unless the generator has an open-transition transfer switch. Workers should visually inspect their equipment before use and remove any defective equipment from service.
It is important to always plug electrical appliances and tools directly into the generator using the appliance manufacturers supplied cords, in order to minimize the possibility of a shock. Also, workers can minimize the possibility of an electrical shock by using proper grounding and bonding. OSHA recommends that workers use battery operated tools instead of electrical tools when possible, and use double insulated tools and equipment so that this reduces the potential for an electric shock. As well, it is important that workers never use underrated cords in their work, and replace them with the appropriately rated cords and equipment distinctively marked for use with generators.
If you are electrocuted in a portable generator practice, then you need to seek compensation from your employer for worker’s compensation injuries. You will want to talk with a New York workers’ compensation lawyer at Katz, Leidman, Freund & Herman for representation if your employer is hesitant to grant you the deserved damages. Talk with an attorney at the firm right away!