6 Tips for Electrical Safety

Being exposed to 50 volts of electricity or more, is enough to cause cardiac arrest.
Being exposed to 50 volts of electricity or more, is enough to cause cardiac arrest.

Electricians are exposed to danger on a daily basis. The safety hazards are numerous and challenging, involving high voltages, difficult access, and complex equipment.

In the construction industry, workers with limited electrical training are most at risk. This includes those with restricted electrical licences, such as plumbers (8.6%), air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics (5.6%), as well as other miscellaneous technicians, tradies (7.3%) and labourers (18.9%; SIRA, 2018).

Responsible electricians uphold electrical safety practices. They know the electrical safety standards and respect the dangers. Skills and training acquired on the job, enable them to proceed safely.

The following safety tips will provide a good reference to best practices for Australian renovators, tradies, and electricians.

Electrical Safety Codes in Australia

Electrical safety matters are regulated separately by each Australian state and territory. Each of these jurisdictions has its own electrical safety laws and regulations.

Familiarise yourself with the electrical standards and regulations that apply in your home state.

Be prepared

Electricians typically undergo first aid training in performing CPR and low-voltage rescue procedures.

The profession involves risks that call for knowledge beyond general first aid techniques. Being exposed to 50 volts of electricity or more, is enough to cause cardiac arrest.

Keep your first aid training credentials up to date by taking regular refresher courses.

Work in teams on dangerous projects

Work with partners wherever possible when completing dangerous electrical projects. This not only helps share the workload, it also ensures at least one other person will be on hand to administer first aid or seek help if one of you gets in harm’s way.

Wear protective gear

Electricians should have the following PPE (Personal Protective Equipment):

  • Hard helmet
  • Shatter-proof eye protection
  • Electrical gloves
  • Dielectric/non-conductive boots

These items are self-explanatory. Excessive sweating is also addressed by protective clothing. It would be dangerous for sweat to come into contact with live electrical current.

Do not mix electricity & water

Water is conductive. Do not touch an electrical circuit when your hands are wet, when you’re perspiring, or when you’re standing on a wet floor.

Every electrician knows the chances of an accident increase when electrical equipment is exposed to even a little bit of water.

Maintain common-sense with tools, devices & workplace

Keep in mind the following:

  • Treat every device as if it is energised (better safe than sorry)
  • Immediately report any damage you see on cords, installation, or plugs
  • Refrain from using any other electrician’s gear or devices without their consent
  • Clean up any mess on your work site as you go

By observing these basic safety measures, you can successfully reduce the risks of workplace mishaps involving electrical currents. This will not only keep you and those around you safer, it will also increase the value of your services.

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