17 March 2009 – Eskom has committed to assist the construction industry to reduce electricity-related accidents and emphasized the importance of safety awareness and education campaigns for workers.
Losing people to electrical accidents meant hardship for families, while injuries sustained often meant that lives were needlessly changed forever.
On the business side, a loss to the economy and productivity because of these accidents was also enormous, Eskom said.
One of the greatest causes of electrocution accidents and burns on building sites is the incorrect use of machinery on sites.
Drivers of tipper trucks, crane controllers and drivers of large machinery are most at risk because of the ever-present danger of equipment accidentally touching overhead power lines. The basic rule to be applied to construction sites is that all installations should be treated as live at all times.
Between 2006 and 2007, the company recorded a 28% increase in the number of people being killed by electrocution on construction sites around the country and most accidents could have been avoided if basic education and precautions were undertaken, Eskom said.