Safety Risks of Being an ElectricianMarch 19, 2019
Electricians are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems, which means they are exposed to potentially serious safety risks, including electric shocks and being electrocuted. Depending on the nature of the job at hand, the customer expectations, and the deadline for the job, certain jobs or tasks may be more hazardous than others.
In order to avoid serious injuries, it is crucial that electricians follow the recommended safety protocols, wear the necessary protective safety gear, and follow the proper lockout/tagout procedures.
Electricians are exposed to a wide range of safety hazards, in addition to potential electrocutions and shocks, including the following:
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Fire and explosions
- UV radiation and other welding-related hazards
- Exposure to extreme temperatures
- Slips and falls
- Asbestos exposure
- Risk of eye injuries from flying particles
- Cuts and abrasions
Common Electrician Safety Hazards
Employers are responsible for providing a safe work environment. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide the appropriate training based on their specific trade.
However, employees also have a responsibility to make safety a priority by avoiding the following electrical hazards:
- Overhead Power Lines: These have high voltages which can put workers at risk for electrocutions and serious burns. Workers should maintain a distance of at least ten feet from power lines and install safety barriers to warn nearby workers.
- Exposure to Damaged Tools and Equipment: If equipment is defective or damaged, it can be extremely dangerous. Workers should check for any cuts, cracks or other damage to cables, wires, or other tools. Lockout/tagout procedures should be performed when any maintenance or repair work is done.
- Poor Wiring and Overloaded Circuits: This can increase the risk of overheating, which can lead to electrical fires. Always use the appropriate wire and extension cords and avoid overloading an outlet.
- Exposed Electrical Parts: These can cause serious shocks and burns. Parts should be secured with the appropriate guarding mechanisms.
- Improper Grounding: This is the most common OSHA electrical violation. Proper grounding will help reduce the risk of electrocution.
- Defective Insulation: This should be reported immediately. All power sources should be turned off before replacing the damaged insulation. Do not cover the power sources with electrical tape.
- Wet Conditions: Water increases the risk of electrocution. An experienced electrician should inspect the equipment before energizing it.
Common Electrician Injuries
Electric shocks can impact a person’s health a number of ways, including the following:
- Low voltage burns: These are associated with a voltage source of 500 volts or less. The burns are often mild and superficial
- Arc burns: These occur when electrical energy goes from a high to a low resistance area. They can produce heat that reaches 2000 degrees C or hotter. Arc burns can be extremely serious.
Other impacts from electric shocks could include:
- Breathing problems
- Cardiac arrest
- Muscle pain
- Loss of consciousness
- Heart rhythm problems
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Electrical Injuries
If you are an electrician and you have been injured on the job, you are urged to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will work tirelessly on your behalf to secure the maximum financial benefits you deserve based on the nature of your injury. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. We serve clients in Baltimore and across Maryland.