A work site is a dangerous place: this cannot be overstated. With high voltage and large equipment, an electrical contractor is constantly faced with life-threatening dangers and working in these situations calls for perfect electrical safety practices.

There are many rules and regulations in place to keep you safe, but common sense, which is often not that common, goes a long way. Many potential hazards are easily spotted and corrected before a serious accident happens. Understand and follow electrical safety tips at all times and all should go well.

Safety tips for electricians

Safety is your responsibility

Always wear the proper safety clothing and protective gear, such as shatter-proof eye protection and non-conductive work boots or other industrial safety footwear. When working with live circuits, use just one hand and keep yourself insulated at all times. Housekeeping is a very important daily task for an industrial electrician. Leaving material or tools on a job site can cause tripping hazards for others. Make sure you clean up your areas as you work. Keeping everyone safe when dealing with current is an electrician’s job; if you spot a defective extension cord, do not use it: repair or replace it immediately.

Plan for safety

Plan your job carefully and consider all potential hazards before you start. Always be aware of your surroundings, smart ideas include isolating equipment from energy sources, identifying potential electric shock and arc flash points, and establishing clear approach limits to make sure unqualified workers don’t wander too close. Before touching an outlet or conductor, test it for voltage. Never work on electrical equipment or conductors until they have been de-energised, properly locked or tagged out, and all chance of exposure has been eliminated.

Ladder safety

Ladder safety is an important component of an electrician’s personal safety. Whenever a ladder or other elevated equipment is being used, by you or some- one else, check and double-check for overhead power sources and obstructions. If the equipment knocks down one of these lines, anyone standing close by can be seriously hurt, maybe even killed. Make sure to inspect the ladder or hoist equipment for damages prior to use. In most cases for hoist equipment you will have to fill out a peruse inspection form and sign off that the hoist is safe to use. Never leave tools on top of a ladder. Verify underground electrical circuits before digging. Know the location of circuit boxes and breakers. When a circuit breaker gets tripped, find the cause of the trip before you reset it. A circuit breaker is a warning that some serious problems could be hiding somewhere down the line. Usually it is caused by an overload. If you ignore the overload, an electrical fire could break out.

Electricity is a powerful force not to be taken lightly. Follow specific electrical safety tips, rules and regulations as they apply to your situation. Going home safely every day is your top priority.

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Gregg Cocking
Email: sparks@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

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Carin Hannay
Email: carinh@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

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