During this rainy season, follow these tips to protect yourself and your coworkers from wet-weather electrical hazards.
Stormy weather can cause electrical wires to fall. Always assume any downed wire is energized and dangerous, and stay far away! Do not drive over a downed wire, and do not touch the wire or anything in contact with it—including water. Call 911 and tell the operator it’s an electrical emergency.
If a wire comes down on or near your car, call 911 and stay inside until utility workers tell you to exit. Warn bystanders to stay far away—anyone who touches the car or even comes close to it could be severely injured or even killed.
If you must get out due to fire or other danger, use a car door that is free of anything in contact with the ground (such as a tree or fire hydrant) and take these steps:
- Jump clear without touching the car and the ground at the same time. Be careful not to fall back against the car.
- Avoid any wires on the ground.
- Land with your feet together and shuffle away with small steps, keeping your feet close together and on the ground.
Water conducts electricity, so keep your power tools dry and use them in a dry location. If you must work in wet conditions, use tools and extension cords that are suitable for outdoor use and plug them into ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) for shock protection.
Additional digging and overhead guidelines, case studies, instructional videos and training tools can all be found, at no charge to you, on Duke Energy’s e-SMARTworkers website.
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