The risk of injury and death go hand in hand with many types of jobs, not least of which are those working in and around electricity and electrical equipment.
Worldwide, thousands lose their lives on the job through inadequate safety measures, poor training, lack of availability of facilities, not having safety tools, or not using them correctly.
Electrical safety is the responsibility of both employer and the employee.
Potential Hazards And Their Identification
- Use of outdated or irrelevant equipment
- Work being done in a confined space
- Electric flaws causing a fire or an explosion
- Electric shock from direct or indirect contact
- No separation of circuits from switches
- Lack of early danger signs, like odour or appearance
- Poor work environment
Top 5 Safety Tips
Although working with electricity is extremely dangerous, working with safety in the forefront of your mind will minimise potential risks. The Australian Government has been a strong advocate for these safety measures and they should not be taken lightly.
Water And Electricity Don’t Mix
We teach our children that water and electricity are a deadly combination, but with deadlines and distractions, it’s easier to overlook water hazards.
Obviously, keep your hands dry but more so, keep an eye out for possible contact with liquids.
Ensure that each and every switch is off and mains disconnected before starting work.
Check the main socket and all the breakers. Even a minor electric shock has the potential to cause heart failure.
Wear Safety Clothing
Electricians need to wear protective clothing be using up to date safety equipment including, helmets, glasses, insulating glasses, grounding devices, safety mats and covers.
Any electrician as an employee must make sure he is provided with all legally required safeguard equipment and should refuse to work if they’ve not been made available.
The number of accidents and deaths among unprofessional and poorly trained electricians continues to increase. This isn’t necessarily the fault of the industry. Industry has invested millions of dollars into everything from on the job training, the use of safety signs, record keeping and more.
Many institutions and organisations are providing professional, high-quality training for new and even experienced electricians. In some cases, where underground lines may be an issue, additional expertise in engineering or Ground Stabilisation Systems may be required.
Anyone working in the electrical industry should seek to be fully trained and qualified to minimise risk to themselves, their co-workers, and those who’ll be using the equipment after it’s installed.
In some cases, competency assessment will involve organisation-wide training by an ISO Certification Provider. According to QMS, this may require you to do some research. You will want to find out about each provider’s, “customisation options and determine their level of flexibility.”
The kind of industry you work in will affect the level of support or services you require, so take the time and see what each ISO certification provider can offer your business.
Modern, Licensed Tools
Out of date or poorly maintained or rusty tools are not licensed and increase injury risks.
Modern, well looked after tools and safety equipment is vital. Also, a professional electrician should keep spares of any tools that may fail due to extensive use.
And one of the greatest tools in an electrician’s arsenal is his helper. Any person working with electrical equipment should not work alone. The extra pair of eyes and hands is invaluable to help prevent a problem, as well as in the case of an emergency.
Electricians put life and limb on the line daily, but risk minimisation is both vital and doable.
Industry experts have taken serious steps to create awareness and formulate policies regarding the framework and the working environment for electricians. The responsibility of safety must also be carried seriously by those on the ground with the power to make a difference.
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