Electricians are always working with electricity, so the work site can be a dangerous place. With power tools and high voltage currents, working on such sites call for electricians to take specific measures for their safety on the work site.
Many rules and regulations must be followed in a construction site to prevent severe accidents from occurring. Many potential hazards can be avoided or corrected by applying safety practices to make sure everyone at the work site is safe from harm. Here are some electrical safety tips to follow whenever working with electricity.
Safety Tips for electrician
Know Your Electrical Codes
Every country has codes that professionals need to follow when conducting themselves. Before becoming a certified electrician, you spend time learning about electrical codes in your area of operation. The goal of these codes is to protect electricians and make electrical work safer.
Know the code, and keep updating yourself with new rules and best practices in the electrical industry so you can stay safe on the job.
Your Safety Is Your Responsibility
Always wear protective gear at work. Protective gloves, shatterproof eye goggles, and non-conductive work boots are a must. Don’t forget to carry other safety materials in your electrical tool bag.
Always unplug all tools after every use. If you spot a faulty cable or extension cord, don’t use that equipment. Housekeeping at the job site is essential. Always return tools to their designated storage areas. This is to avoid accidents due to tripping or stepping on sharp objects.
When working with live current, use only one arm and make sure you are well insulated. Use tools and equipment with non-conducting handles when working on electrical devices. If you are the lead contractor, make sure your employees follow the rules to the letter.
Inspect and Maintain Your Electrical Tools
Before using your electrical tools, inspect them for damage. Check your appliances for loose or frayed cables. Make sure they are well plugged to the power source. Check out insulation covers as they can burn and expose you to live current. Don’t make the mistake of using tools that are tagged as needing repair. Ensure all devices to be repaired or to be disposed of are well labelled to make sure no one uses them.
Follow Lockout Procedures
Before beginning the job, or repair work, the first task to do is to switch off current at the switch box and secure it with a lock. You need to do the same for machines and equipment requiring strong currents or likely to pose a threat.
Using the wrong wiring and overloading circuits leads to overheating that can causea fire. Make sure the machinery you are using is heavy-duty and follow instructions when using certain machines. Install circuit breakers to prevent overloading the electrical systems. The right wires and circuit breakers could save a life. Lockout and tag training is essential for electricians. This is done to minimize shock and electrocution incidents.
Carry Out Risk Assessments
For big projects, risk assessments must be carried out before the project begins. For smaller projects, it’s not mandated, but pre-job hazard assessment (PJHA) should be done for the safety of the workers and people in the vicinity. Consider all the potential hazards and plan for them. For instance, if there will be possible debris flying around, all workers on site must be informed, and the area closed off to the public.
If you are working near water or its raining, install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIS). The risk of electrocution is always higher when there is water around. Plug all equipment into GFCIs switches when working in wet areas. The switch will interrupt the circuit before it can enter your body and shock you.
Work in Pairs
If the job being undertaken is dangerous and tedious, consider tackling it in pairs. You will distribute the workload and ensure if one person goes down, the partner can offer first aid or call for help. Electricians undergo first aid training in performing CPR and low voltage rescue. It’s vital to be on the lookout all the time because an accident can occur at any time. A strong circuit can cause cardiac arrest and kill if the right measures are not taken in time.
Avoid Power Lines
Power lines are always present in construction sites and pose a significant threat to electricians. They may look safe, but a slight contact can send thousands of volts cruising through your body. This kind of electrocution is likely to stop the heart or cause forth degree burns.
There are some steps electricians can take to make sure they are safe. If you’re not trained to handle high voltage currents, stay away from such tasks. Keep the stipulated distance from live cables. And if you must work near them, make sure they are switched off.
Keep Flammable Materials Away From Electrical Equipment
This is a no brainier tip, but it’s one of the most important things to do at an electrical work site. All flammable materials should be kept at a distance from all electrical work. Combustible materials are the surest way of starting a fire.
Use a Non-Conductive Ladder On the Job Site
Ladders come in three materials: metallic, wooden, and fibreglass. Fiberglas and wood ladders are best suited for electrical work because they do not conduct electricity. Fibreglass is a better choice because it won’t rot and will last longer.
Don’t Touch Someone Who Has Been Electrocuted
Accidents do happen, and you need to prepare for such an occurrence. When your workmate gets shocked, it natural to want to help them, but you should refrain from doing so. Your body conducts electricity, and by touching them, you only increase the number of casualties. You too will be electrocuted.
The first thing you should do is switch off the main power and call for emergency services. Begin doing CPR as you wait for the ambulance to arrive. If you can switch the power off, use a non-conductive material like wood or plastic to break the electrical contact and start giving the victim first aid.
Watch the following video to know more about electrical safety during your operation:
Knowing your limits and applying the best electrical safety practices can greatly reduce the risk of electrical shock and death. Common sense dictates that you work within your scope of expertise and don’t take unnecessary risks by working beyond your capability. Don’t shy away from asking for help and instructions if you feel stuck.