Safety Snapshot: Electricians

Safety Snapshot: Electricians

  • Rebecca Pittman
  • 10 November, 2020

May is National Electrical Safety Month.

Being an electrician is one of the most dangerous jobs you can have. They are put on the front lines to keep electricity in our homes, businesses, and schools. Electricians are often put in stressful situations in order to complete certain jobs or tasks faster than normal. Installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems comes with its fair share of dangers, some of which are not always related to electricity. Here are just a few of the dangers faced by electricians:’

  • Danger of lethal electric shock
  • Exposure to lead, solvents, and other toxic chemicals
  • Fire and explosions
  • Extreme temperatures and weather conditions
  • Cuts and abrasions
  • Danger of eye damage from flying particles
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Working alone

For electricians, any accident on the job could mean life or death. Safety isn’t just the employer’s responsibility, it’s YOUR responsibility. Employers are required by OHSA to provide certain levels of safety training to their employees to help ensure they understand the dangers within their trade. YOU also need to be safety conscious!

Being an electrician means being ready for anything. Minimizing potentially dangerous accidents is all about preparation. When working on an electrical job, it’s important to take into account what kind of project you’re working on and consider what could potentially go wrong. Plan solutions accordingly so that you will not be caught off guard should a situation arise.

The number-one caution that electricians must take is to respect the dangers of electricity. If not handled properly, high-voltage lines not only can kill you, but could also cause equipment and buildings to explode. However, it’s also important that you do not become complacent when dealing with low-voltage applications. Any contact with live wires can cause permanent burns or long-term heat damage.

Personal protective equipment is your ultimate line of bodily protection in the event that something goes wrong. Wearing sufficient and reliable safety gear is one of the most important parts of staying safe in the workplace. Insulated gloves can help protect your hands from electrical currents. Hard hats help reduce injuries caused by falling debris, such as in a construction setting, as well as from dangling electrical wires.

One thing you may be tempted to do is to take on more work. In situations where staff is shorthanded and there are big jobs to complete, electricians who are less qualified or experienced may be tempted to pitch in and help to complete tasks. You should never take on work you are not qualified or experience to complete! If you are an employer, don’t assign tasks to workers who have no experience in that field. An inexperienced worker can injure themselves or others. If the job requires the skill set of more than one electrician, team up. It may take more time to wait for a more experienced worker to be available for an assignment, but in the long run, waiting could save someone’s life.

Electricians should always focus on keeping themselves, as well as their assistants and coworkers, aware of safety issues. Electrical work is very hazardous if not approached with caution. Electricity is one of the most lethal elements any worker will ever have to deal with. The smart electrician stays cool, calm, and collected, and takes precautions to avoid accidents.

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