Electricians take heed! For National Safety Month, we’re rounding up the ten most crucial pieces of advice you need to know to avoid danger when you are in the electrical industry.
1. Know the Code
As the industry changes, standards remain. Your duty as an electrician is to constantly monitor the guidelines intended to keep you safe. Ensure your work is up to code by checking the NFPA website for up-to-date verification.
In any damp or wet situation, you need to install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters, or GFCIs. If any tools or equipment are not fully plugged into GFCIs in a wet area, you could be in extreme danger. GFCIs are designed to prevent an electrical incident, so have them secured to be safe.
3. Avoid Transfer Conduction
If you are in the unfortunate situation of being with someone that has been electrocuted, do not touch their body. The human body acts as a conductor, so if you touch someone that has been shocked, you may be electrocuted as well. Turn off the power source, and proceed from there.
4. Keep Tools Safe
To avoid potential hazards, make sure all of your equipment and tools have been maintained properly. Don’t get lazy and think you can use broken wire-strippers. You never know what damage can be done from improper use of tools.
5. Lockout and Tag
When you start a job, what’s the first thing that needs to be done every time? Turning off the current at the switch box and padlocking it off, for any and all sources. This is the most crucial step. It should be your priority and a habit. Use a tester if you need to verify you’ve secured the location.
6. Proper Gear
Wearing the right gear is also an essential habit. It’s not enough to have your goggles with you in your bag – safety gear matters more than your comfort. Your protective equipment necessities include goggles, insulated gloves, non-conducting hard hats, and sleeves and hoods.
7. Ladder Selection
Although it may seem trivial, there are a number of reasons you want to choose the right ladder. We recommend a fiberglass ladder – they are a great investment and they will hold up well over time. You can choose a wood ladder, but they depreciate quickly. Aluminum ladders work for some trades, but the metal is a conductor so we don’t suggest it for electrical work.
When you’re not the only person involved with a job, communication is essential to keep everyone safe. Know where all participants are at all times, with no exception. Making assumptions during an electrical gig is a rookie mistake. Whether you need to stay on the phone line or communicate with walkie talkies, find a way to stay in touch to prevent incidents.
9. Steer Clear of Power Lines
If you’re working on a construction site or out in the open, you may be vulnerable to power lines. Many accidents are caused by a metal ladder and a power line. It’s impossible to know if a line is safe, even if it’s not exposed or throwing sparks. We don’t have to tell you what kind of damage a live power line can do to a person.
10. Digging Near Lines
If you are on the job and need to dig, call 8-1-1 first. The last thing you want to do is hit a power line with a metal shovel. That’s a sure recipe for disaster, and it’s easily avoidable. Know your local rules and maintain a distance – consider using your hands to dig where possible to avoid the threat.
Contact Us Today
There are a number of ways we’re talking about National Safety Month – if you want to know what we’re covering, check out CCS Construction Staffing. Our professionals are experts in maintaining safety standards in the field. We can help you secure success for your team — contact us today.