Electrician stays safe on the job

5 Safety Tips for Electricians

Watch any Frankenstein movie and consider the extreme risk Dr. Frankenstein put himself and Igor in with the amount of electrical voltage shooting about the laboratory. If you are an electrician, you know that electricity is nothing to monkey around with. The smart electrician doesn't see his hair stand on end and think it’s cool, or laugh maniacally like a mad scientist. The smart electrician stays cool, calm, and collected, and takes any number of the following precautions.

Always dry your hands because you never know what kind of environment you may be working in. Residential or commercial electricians might work in homes or businesses that are not well ventilated or do not have central air. Chances are that while working, an electrician may perspire heavily. Bring a bandana or towel with you and wipe off those sweaty palms before you get to work. Or better yet, let your hands air dry. You can also cover those puppies with non-conductive gloves or wear shoes with insulated soles. Be proactive and mop up any leaks or spills you may find in your work area.

Good habits die hard. So don't let bad habits kill you, because the good ones will stick around to keep you alive forever. One habit you should get into is turning off any other electrical appliances that you are not using. That off-switch on the 60" flat screen doesn't mean it’s not drawing small amounts of electricity if it's still plugged in. Also, disconnect any power source if you are servicing electrical equipment. Your first order of business, and a good practice to get into, is to unplug everything.

This next one may seem like a no-brainer, but I'm sure Dr. Frankenstein violated this rule. Keep flammables away from your work area. Gasoline emits vapors that can be ignited by an electrical charge. These hazards are often overlooked because there doesn't have to be direct contact for disaster to ensue. If you sniff gas or paint thinner, make sure you set up your work space in the opposite direction.

Generally speaking, it’s not good to dangle near electrical wiring. Loose jewelry, like Flava Flav's clock necklace, saggy pants, or tacky neckties can catch you quite the jolt. Dress in overalls or keep your dangles tucked in to be safe.

An electrician's tools can be his best friend, or his worst enemy. Always make sure that any tool you use has non-conductive surfaces that you can safely handle. Otherwise, you might as well chuck your metal-handled pliers and grab the live wire with your naked hand. Joking aside, invest in good equipment with non-conducting handles.

Make no mistake about it, Dr. Frankenstein's crazy laboratory would not pass any municipal, state, or federal safety regulations, and for good reason. Following the above rules, and your common sense, will keep you safe from the dangers of electricity.

  1. Dry Your Hands
  2. Unplug Everything
  3. Keep Flammables Far Away
  4. Keep From Dangling
  5. Use Protection
Last Updated: April 15, 2015