The Electrical Safety Foundation (ESF) and CPWR – the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) are partnering on a campaign to raise awareness of construction electrical safety. The campaign aims to educate the public about the electrical hazards on construction job sites to prevent avoidable injuries and fatalities.

Materials created for the campaign include:


According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the construction industry has one of the highest rates of workplace injuries and deaths in the United States. Included among the many types of injuries are those caused by exposure to electricity: in 2022, 62 out of 145 total work-related fatalities due to electricity occurred in the construction industry.i Construction laborers, tree trimmers, heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics, heavy truck drivers, roofers, and construction and maintenance painters experience some of the highest risk.ii

“By identifying the leading causes of electrical fatalities on construction sites, ESF and CPWR can target all construction trades to educate on electrical hazards,” said ESF President Brett Brenner. “This partnership will allow both organizations to make a difference in reducing the number of electrical injuries and fatalities happening yearly.”

According to an article published in the IEEE Industry Applications Magazine that analyzed OSHA incident data on electrical fatalities, the most common cause of workplace electrical fatalities occurred from contact with overhead power lines. This was the cause of the deaths for 84% of tree trimmers, 81% of roofers, 78% of painters in construction and maintenance, 76% of heavy truck drivers, and 60% of construction laborers. The second most common cause was contact with or working near energized conductors or parts. This was the cause of fatalities for 90% of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and another 35% of construction laborers.ii

Included in the campaign materials is an infographic on OSHA’s Focus Four construction hazards, which include electrocution, falls from heights, struck-by, and caught-in/between. Simple tips to keep workers safe on the job site include locating and identifying utilities, such as overhead power lines and underground wires, before starting work, as well as maintaining safe distances from power lines. It’s also imperative not to operate portable electric tools unless grounded or double insulated and to always use ground-fault protection.

“CPWR is happy to partner with ESF to increase awareness of electrical hazards impacting the construction industry as well as ways to protect workers against them,” says CPWR’s Executive Director, Chris Trahan Cain, CIH. “So many of the fatalities in our industry – electrical and otherwise – can be prevented with better engineering controls, work practices, and training in place.”

Learn about the steps that can be taken to prevent construction-related workplace injuries to keep workers of all construction trades safe on the job site. For ESF’s complete collection of free electrical safety materials, visit For more information on CPWR, visit

The Electrical Safety Foundation (ESF) is the trusted voice for electrical safety. The mission of ESF is to prevent electrically-related injuries, deaths, and fires; saving lives and property through public education and outreach. For free workplace safety materials, you can share throughout your community, visit

CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit created by North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU). Its mission is to reduce occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the construction industry through research, training, and service programs. CPWR is uniquely situated to serve U.S. construction workers, contractors and the research community, having partnered with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in NIOSH’s construction safety and health research initiative for three decades.

 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2022 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI).
ii D. Majano and B. Brenner, “Why Do Electrical Fatalities Occur on the Job?: Understanding the Human Factor of a Fatality,” in IEEE Industry Applications Magazine, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 51-60, May-June 2024, doi: 10.1109/MIAS.2023.3328549.