Medical Definition of Power outage work safety

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Power outage work safety: At work, employers and employees should be aware of:

  • the hazards of working in heat
  • simple but effective ways of organizing work assignments and the workplace to reduce risks
  • the benefits of implementing proper controls and work practices

Potential measures to reduce risk may include the following:

  • Spread the work load evenly over the day and incorporate work-rest cycles.
  • Provide enough water to keep people hydrated.
  • Postpone work tasks that are not essential.
  • If a cooler area is available, use it for rest breaks.
  • Schedule the most stressful tasks during the cooler parts of the day.
  • Avoid double shifts and overtime if possible.
  • Extend rest periods to minimize the increase in the body's heat load.

As power returns after an outage, people at work may be at risk of electrical or traumatic injuries as power lines are reenergized and equipment is reactivated. It is recommended that employers and employees be aware of those risks and take protective steps if they are in contact with or in proximity to power lines, electrical components, and the moving parts of heavy machinery.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

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