Portable generators not ideal for all construction sites

Portable generators – internal combustion engines used to generate temporary electricity or emergency power – are a common mainstay on construction sites and in workplaces. Small generators can provide enough power to run tools like saws, lights, drills, heaters and air compressors for AC-powered tools at a construction site.

Generators are all different and run on different power sources, including gasoline, diesel, propane and natural gas. However, OSHA says that although portable generators are relatively simple to use, employers may still want to train workers on best practices to ensure safety when using generators on the job. Some best practices include:

– Always follow proper directions and regularly check for frayed wires, as improper use may cause shock or electrocution
– Never attach a generator to the electrical system of a home, trailer or office unless installed by an electrician
– Plug tools and appliances into the generator using grounded, 3-prong cords
– Do not use a generator in rain or wet conditions
– If the generator starts smoking or emits a burning odor, turn the power off immediately
– Do not use a generator indoors or in crawl spaces, garages or basements, as it could cause carbon monoxide poisoning
– Use generators away from windows and doors of living spaces

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