Like most jobs, being an electrician has its perks. However, working with electrical equipment also has a few minor downfalls. A safe work environment for electricians is not always enough to control all potential electrical hazards. An electrician must be very cautious and must follow safety rules to help them manage theirs, and others risk injury or death from workplace hazards. Of course, electricians must stay safe when working because electricity can be deadly if handled the wrong way or handled without taking certain precautions before starting a project.
While electricians are actually experts in this field, training employees to work safely around electrical hazards is critical to maintaining the safety of workers. Electricity is a serious hazard that can cause severe injuries and, worse, fatalities if the electricians aren't trained adequately. This is where the importance of OSHA’s electricity safety training requirements comes in. However, while electricians are trained and aware of such safety requirements, there are still other ways that help in mitigating the risks that come with electrical hazards.
When being careless with electrical safety, it is easy to injure yourself or somebody else and even cause a fire. Take note that electricity can conduct with most metals and even with a variety of other materials. Most of all, the human body is a natural conductor.
That’s why it is essential that when working with electricity, you observe these golden safety precautions that we compiled for you.
Don’t come into contact with energized electrical circuits. You probably already know this rule, so don’t take it lightly. If something happens because you touched an energized electrical circuit, take note that you probably won’t have a second chance if you sustain fatal injuries.
You may not be aware of it, but it is safe to say that you should treat all electrical devices as if they are live or energized.
Before you start repairing or servicing electrical equipment, disconnect the power source.
Use only equipment and tools that have non-conducting handles when working on electrical devices.
Don’t ever use metallic pencils or rulers, or wear rings or metal watchbands when working with electrical equipment. Most people forget this rule, primarily when pointing with a metallic pen or pencil.
Be sure that your hands are dry and, when possible, wear non-conductive gloves, protective shoes with insulated soles, and protective clothing.
If it is safe to do so, use only one hand when working and keep the other hand at your side or in your pocket, away from surrounding conductive material. Following this precaution will reduce the likelihood of accidents that result in current passing through your chest cavity.
When it comes to cold rooms or other areas where condensation is likely, minimize the use of electrical equipment. If the purpose of electrical equipment must be used in such areas, mount the equipment on a vertical panel or a wall.
Shut off power at the main switch or circuit breaker and unplug the equipment if water or chemical is spilled.
In cases where an individual comes in contact with a live electrical conductor, do not touch the equipment, cord, or person. Also, disconnect the power source from the circuit breaker or pull out the plug using a leather belt. Always stay calm to avoid making the situation worse.
When equipment produces a “tingle,” disconnect it and report promptly for repair.
Do not rely on grounding to hide a defective circuit nor attempt to correct a fault by inserting another fuse or breaker-- especially one with a larger capacity.
Always drain capacitors before working near them and keep the short circuit on terminals while on work, in order to prevent electrical shock.
Don’t ever touch another person’s equipment or electrical control devices unless instructed to do so.
Avoid anyone from accidentally touching with all electrical contacts and conductors by enclosing them. Do it always if applicable. Otherwise, be very careful.
When your hands, feet, or body are wet or perspiring, or when standing on a wet floor, avoid handling electrical equipment. Remember always to wear gloves and shoes.
When touching electrical equipment is necessary, use the back of your hand in order to avoid “freezing” to the conductor if an accidental shock were to cause muscular contraction.
Never store highly flammable liquids near electrical equipment.
Always be aware that interlocks on equipment disconnect the high voltage source when a cabinet door is open. However, power for control circuits may remain turned on.
If you’re leaving open experimental circuits and equipment, ensure that you de-energize them first.
Don’t wear loose clothing or ties near electrical equipment. Always wear proper clothes in areas like these. You are not on the beach!
Wrapping Up Thoughts
With most homes and buildings now powered with electricity, electrical fires, and accidents from electrocution or electricity-related incidents occur every year. What is most surprising is that these incidents could have been avoided. That’s why it is vital to take safety precautions seriously when working with electricity. Always remember that when working with electrical equipment, you are putting your life and the lives of others in danger. That’s why you must practice these safety precautions for the safety of everyone.
For additional tips that need reiteration, be sure to read basic guidelines regarding the safe handling of electricity documented above. Another equally important tip is always to ensure that you’re using the right bulbs to prevent electrical problems. It's possible by checking all lamps, fixtures, and appliances to know if you’re using the correct wattage. If there is no wattage indicated in a light fixture, it is advisable to use 60-watt bulbs or less. When it comes to unmarked ceiling fixtures, we advise you to choose 25-watt bulbs. And finally, if you’re unsure about an electrical outlet or appliance, always ask a professional to take a look while keeping you and everyone around you safe.