Australia might be known as the land down under, but that doesn’t mean that its electricity industry is at a low level. All electricians practicing in Australia have to undergo hours of on-the-job training, classes, and certifications before they can be licensed to work in either commercial, industrial, or residential properties.
One of the most important factors that should always be taken in consideration by practicing electricians is safety. Wrong installations and wiring can cause circuit breaks, fires, and even fatal shock accidents. It’s therefore extremely important that anyone within the industry understands the vital importance of working safely.
If you are a practicing electrician who wants to sharp up on their safety knowledge or a curious reader interested in electricity safety, then read along for electrical protection tips you need to know about.
WHY IS ELECTRICITY SAFETY SO IMPORTANT?
Voltage within electrical sockets and currents that run through homes and commercial properties are enough to cause fatality from electrocution. Even if you only change a light bulb without following the right safety procedures can cause death. This is because the wiring is either ‘live’, ‘energized’, or ‘hot’.
Certified electricians, like those employed and trained by THG Electrical follow strict processes to ensure the protection of themselves and the members of the family.
Doing the wrong thing can cause severe problems, that is why it’s important that home and building owners hire professional electricians to do the job.
Here are a few safety tips that you should know about and apply:
Your safety remains your own responsibility. Even though many electrical service companies will have rigorous rules and regulations set in my place, it’s still important to know that you are responsible for your own safety.
In order to stay safe and not to put others in harm, you should always follow the basic electrical safety rules. Wearing safety gear and performing tasks as taught is important to stay safe.
For electricians who have to perform complex jobs, it’s important to have a set plan in place. Consider all the potential hazards involved after assessment and plan accordingly. Not only should the electricians performing the job know about the hazards, but any other workers on site should also be aware. This will ensure that the working environment is aware of what’s going on.
This also involves setting up the working area by isolating equipment, testing voltage, identifying potential arc flashes and shocks, de-energizing systems, and eliminating all chances of electrical exposure.
Wear Safety Gear
To ensure you are fully insulated, you should always wear personal protective gear. Typical safety gear will include hard hats that are non-conducting, gloves, sleeves, goggles, and insulated shoes. Additionally, electricians should have a line hose, and blankets, as well as the right kind of equipment.
All tools, equipment, and gear should be inspected before a job starts. This is to avoid any holes that might allow electrical currents to flow through. For a full list of safety equipment and tools, go here: https://www.tutorialspoint.com/electrical_safety/electrical_safety_types_of_safety_equipment.htm.
Inspect Tools and Equipment
When your power tools have exposed wires, loose prongs, or frayed cords you should get it fixed immediately. Your tools can also act as a conductor to energy and you will risk being electrocuted. Also inspect your tools to see if the insulation covering is intact. Insulation that is damages will expose areas that can also cause shock.
Electricians who work with electricity on a regular basis should invest in high-quality tools to ensure safety. Don’t even think about using a broken or damaged piece of equipment for one last time, when it needs repair you shouldn’t use it at all.
Know the Country’s Electrical Coding
While studying, electricians will have to get familiar with their country’s electrical coding. The code is basically the book with all the current guidelines, rules, and regulations that all electricians should follow.
Electricians who have been in the industry for a very long time should refer to their country’s code to stay up to date with new practices.
Handling Someone Who Has Been Electrocuted
Your first instinct will be to touch someone who has been electrocuted, but don’t. Because the human body acts as a conductor, you’ll also risk being burned or electrocuted when you touch them.
Turn of the main power source and then phone emergency services. While you wait, you should make sure that they aren’t touching the energy source anymore by pushing the person away from the source. You can use an object made from either plastic, wood, or something that is a non-conducting metal.
The Right Ladder
For normal folk, choosing the right ladder might seem absurd. But the type of material your ladder is made from can be the difference between life and death.
Metals used in the manufacturing of ladders are usually wood, aluminum, and fiberglass. Wood and fiberglass are the best choices for electricians because the metal aluminum can act as a conductor for an electrical current. Wood might rot over time making fiberglass the best non-conducting choice when working with electricity.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE WRONG PROCEDURES ARE FOLLOWED?
When wires are ‘live’ and ‘energized’ and a human gets in contact with them, we become part of the electrical circuit. This means that electricity tries to pass through our body. When this happens, depending on the voltage that tries to pass through, the following injuries can occur:
- Fatal Electrocution
- Electrical Burns
- Electrical Shocks
- Electrical Falls
Injuries also occur when you get in touch with heat generated by an electrical arc. Unfortunately, there have been many reports on fatal and serious electricity related injuries in Australia. These usually occur when untrained people try to perform tasks above their knowledge. Read this report on electrical safety in Australia for statistics.
If you aren’t sure on how to deal with any kind of electrical problem in and around your property, you should always hire a professional electrician.