It is vital for new electricians to always keep in mind that electricity can be lethal, so knowing the safety tips to avoid electrical hazards is vital for anyone in this profession. There are five safety tips that all new electricians should keep under consideration while they are on duty.
1 Use insulated electrician’s screwdrivers
Screwdrivers are in common use but for electricians they come with a major drawback – around 50% of the device is a bare metal shaft that makes for a very good electricity conductor. A live electrical current touching that bare metal will make the whole shaft live, and if the shaft touches anything else – including you – the consequences could be fatal. It is therefore crucial for electricians to use insulated electrician’s screwdrivers for many of their jobs.
Insulated electrician’s screwdrivers, like those from RS, are specially designed devices that make use of a non-conductive and strong plastic cover over their handles and shafts, with only the tip exposed. The insulation ensures that the user is protected against accidentally touching live parts of an electrical circuit.
The shaft of the screwdriver being coated with a protective non-conductive material makes it also easy to hold the shaft to maintain balance and can also prevent electronic parts from being damaged by electrical shorts.
2 Always assume every electrical device is live
It might seem obvious even to a new electrician to never touch a live electrical device but the follow-on to this is to always assume that every electrical device you encounter is live until you definitely know otherwise. Always disconnect power sources prior to repairing or servicing electrical equipment. This involves removing fuses, unplugging appliances and flipping switches on electrical panes. Never take any chances.
3 Always wear safety gear
It is not just your electrician’s screwdrivers but all of your tools and equipment that should not be capable of conducting electricity via their handles. Avoid anything that is able to conduct electricity while working such as metallic rulers or pencils and never wear the likes of metal watch bands or rings.
When you have to handle equipment that is plugged into an electrical socket there are a few steps that should always be followed. Make certain you have dry hands and that you are wearing appropriate safety clothing, wear safety shoes that have insulated soles and non-conductive safety gloves.
It is also important to never wear ties or any other form of loose clothing when working with electrical equipment.
4 Use one hand only
Whenever possible you should work with just the one hand, while making sure the other is kept away from anything that is able to conduct electricity as having both hands near electricity increases the chances of creating a loop that could result in current entering your chest.
5 Do not use cold rooms for storing electrical items
Electrical equipment should not be placed where in areas where condensation is likely to form, such as in cold rooms. If there is equipment in these areas they should be vertically mounted to prevent condensation from accumulating.
Following these rules will help to keep new and experienced electricians safe from fires, electric shocks and death while working.