Electricity has exponentially grown to be one of the most important, and probably most taken for granted, entities in the U.S. It has become so intertwined with our daily lives and routines, that most of us can’t possibly imagine a world without it. This means that there will always be a need for electricians to install, maintain, and repair electrical equipment, and keep the world functioning as we know it.
As we watch the number of skilled trade workers shrink in the U.S, the number of electricians follows a similar trend. Now may well be the best time to seek a career as an electrician. Most electricians make handsome wages, there are a plethora of training and educational opportunities, and there will always be a demand for the skill. Of course, like other trade jobs, some dangers come along with being an electrician. Not to worry, most are avoidable if the proper steps and precautions are taken. This is why Nocti Business Solutions (NBS) is sharing this article; because we believe that distributing knowledge and creating awareness are the best steps towards prevention. We not only want to promote a path to success, but to safety as well.
How to avoid the most common hazards as an electrician
Perhaps this is a bit obvious, but electricians do face the hazard of electrocution in their work. This is one of the most common incidents electricians will face, as 8% of construction injuries or deaths are the result of electrocution (OSHA). However, electricians can avoid it with the following precautions:
- Do NOT work near water.
- Always have the proper equipment: safety gloves, eyewear, hardhat, etc.
- Double check (literally check twice) with a multimeter to ensure electrical currents are off
- Avoid AC-operated circuits when possible
- Remove all metal from hands and wrists (wedding rings and wrist watches)
A not so obvious incident for electricians is falling. Due to a wide variety of electrical access points and lines being high-up, electricians must sometimes be part-time climbers. This may sound trivial, but 38% of construction injuries or deaths are the results of falls from a suspended area (OSHA). Most can be avoided with the following steps:
- Plan, ensuring that you have every piece of safety equipment necessary
- Up or down, take your time
- Always have a spotter
- Check and recheck your safety harness and equipment
- When using a ladder, inspect first and maintain the rule of 3 (Always have 3 points of contact while on a ladder)
Where there is electricity, there is always a chance for fire. Although fires are a much less common occurrence, electricians still need to be aware and prepared if one were to arise. Best practices for avoiding injury from a fire as an electrician are:
- Have the proper equipment: safety gloves, clothing, eyewear, boots, etc.
- Be prepared with the right type of fire extinguisher
- Remove any flammable debris or material close to electrical wiring
- Monitor whatever temporary electrical service is onsite, and ensure that it does not overload
- Properly store combustible chemicals
The future is bright for electricians
Again, we’re not sharing this information to scare anyone; we are merely giving some friendly advice. A career as an electrician provides unique opportunities that are not often found in other career paths. It is one of the highest paid trade jobs, most notably since the number of electricians has declined over the years. Being an electrician also presents many opportunities to travel, through a company or as a freelance worker. Most importantly, like medicine, law, and finance, the need for this work is not going anywhere. Even in a zombie apocalypse, there would still be a need for an electrician!