There are no second chances in regards to electrical safety. Even those with the highest qualifications need to be aware that the slightest mistake can have dramatic results. This is the reason why it is important to appreciate the steps that should be taken in order to ensure that you and your colleagues remain free from injury at all times. Let's take a look at some major categories to address.
Work Wear Shoe Safety: Leave Nothing to Chance
According to recent statistics, more than eight million visits to the emergency room every year are the results of slips and falls. Now, we need to consider the impact of wearing the correct safety shoes when dealing with electricity. Not only must footwear boast weatherproof qualities, but it needs to provide superior levels of comfort to the technician (particularly when working at heights). Firms such as Engelbert Strauss supply a wide variety of options that employ cutting-edge materials.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
While we have already mentioned the importance of the proper footwear, this same observation can be extended to the personal protective equipment worn by electrical personnel. Of course, the exact specifications will depend upon the situation as well as the environment. Some common options include (but are not limited to):
- Hard hats
- Shatterproof goggles
- High-visibility vests
- Insulated gloves (sometimes well into the kilovolt range)
- Voltage detectors
This equipment should be certified by the proper authorities and it is the responsibility of the site manager to make certain that it is free from defects.
Safety at Heights
Electricians will often be required to work at heights. Common examples include bucket trucks, vertical lifts and ladders. This presents a two-fold danger. Not only must they be aware of electrical safety, but they also need to be adhere to the proper regulations to make certain that serious injury (or even death) does not occur from a fall. Some important tips to keep in mind include:
Always make sure that the working surface is stable and free from obstructions.
- When working off of an accordion lift or similar platform, elec must be worn.
- Be aware of any possible paths to ground when dealing with live voltage.
- Watch out for falling objects and never work at heights that are too uncomfortable without the proper supervision.
Portable ladders should always be checked for flaws before a project. There are also times when the two-man rule will apply, as an individual securing the ladder from below will reduce the chances of an accidental fall.
This is another safety measure which needs to be taken seriously. A lockout-tagout notification will illustrate that a specific piece of electrical machinery (such as a step-down transformer) is not functioning properly. Thus, others will not be placed at risk. There are various laws concerning the correct lockout-tagout procedures and these need to be understood within the workplace.
Electrical Safety is no Laughing Matter
Many workplace accidents can be avoided with a bit of common sense and by adhering to all of the relative safety rules. After all, they exist for a reason. One error when dealing with high voltages can lead to lifelong consequences that may not be able to be reversed. In order to appreciate the types of safety clothing and footwear at your disposal, be sure to visit Engelbert Strauss. The concept of second-best safety has no place within the electrical community.