With modern devices relying on efficient designs and energy conservation to improve their sales, the career field of electrical engineering is growing daily. Top electronic manufacturers look for talented engineers that can apply electrical and electromagnetic principles to a particular product line. If you're considering this career, you need to be aware of some of the dangers and drawbacks associated with it. Luckily, many dangers can be avoided by being aware.
Electrical Arcs and Shocks
Although slightly uncommon, electrical shocks are the danger most associated with electrical engineering. If you or the electrical items aren’t properly grounded, a shock can result. Electricity always searches for a pathway to the ground, so if your product or circuit doesn't offer a clear pathway, a single touch can put you in harm's way. Electrical arcs are frightening and possibly fatal occurrences in this career field. If the current and voltage are strong enough, they can bridge a small gap in a wire and cause a brilliant electrical arc, possibly injuring nearby people.
Electrical engineers also use batteries for prototypes and daily designs, especially because of the demand increase for mobile products. Some of these batteries have extremely high voltage. If improper power is connected to a nearby battery, it can explode. The explosion itself isn't the really damaging part, however. Internal battery acid sprays outward, burning hands, arms and faces. When you work as an electrical engineer, you need to verify all of your voltages and currents before applying it to a product in order prevent injury to anyone nearby.
Fire And Explosions
Whether you're working with a hard-wired product or a battery, fire hazards exist every day. An electrical arc can set papers and other materials on fire. A rogue AA battery nearby could be caught in an electrical arc, causing a small explosion. When you apply your electrical engineering education, you’re equipped with the skill to avoid these situations. However, accidents can happen, especially with inexperienced workers.
Create a Safe Haven
The best way to create a safe work area is to use protective clothing and equipment. Before any product, circuit board or wiring is activated, wear goggles, gloves, and insulated shoes. You want to minimize the potential for danger in the work space. It’s smart to work on items disconnected from a power source. Only apply power when you're sure that the item is ready to work. If you have to work above the ground, insist on a strong harness to safely maneuver through the air. You can even use remote operational devices to work on extremely dangerous products.
Consider your electrical talent when deciding on an electrical engineering career. Along with a college degree, you also need the common sense to stay safe while working around high voltages of electricity.