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9 Safety Tips When Handling Electrical Equipment

Electrical Equipment

Whether you’re a licensed electrician, an electrician’s apprentice in training, or just the handyman of your home, you should subscribe to one universal truth about working with electricity: it can be extremely dangerous.

Any electrical system has the potential to wreak harm on an approaching user. What’s worse, electrical sparks can fly off from anywhere, be they from an exposed wire or from a faulty piece of equipment. Even your body in itself is a natural conductor of electricity. If you don’t afford it sufficient protection while doing electrical work, then you are very much at risk of incurring shocks or burns.

That said, it may be good to establish some ground rules for fostering a safe, productive, and shock-free working environment. 

Here are nine useful tips for anyone looking to handle electrical equipment.
  1. Mind the condition of your tools. Proper tools are your lifeline when doing electrical work. Ensure that each tool that you bring to the work site is in tip-top condition. Don’t be lazy about switching or repairing tool handles, tool casings, or trigger locks once they start looking a little worn out.
  2. Don’t touch someone else’s tools. Always secure permission to touch someone else’s gear, and be careful with it even then. If the gear is not yours, treat it as if it is charged.
  3. Wear the right clothing for electrical work. Don’t neglect to equip safety workwear clothing when it’s time for electrical duty. Your workwear ensemble can include an anti-static jacket, shirt, or overalls, as well as electrical personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, goggles, helmets with visors, and rubber-soled boots for using power tools.
  4. Foster a clean, dry, and organised working environment. Make sure that your work site and workstations are free of mess, clutter, leakages, or tangled wire, as all of these may lead to a serious accident. Moreover, you should keep electrical equipment out of cold spaces to prevent condensation or cold-induced strain.
  5. Counter dampness and moisture. Keep your hands completely dry while you work with circuits, and never touch a piece of electrical equipment with wet hands. In addition, take extra care if you’ll work near a damp area, such as a body of water. You can install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GCFIs) in order to mitigate the higher risk of electric shock.
  6. Stay away from faulty equipment. Avoid devices whose electrical cords sport damaged insulation, frayed ends, or broken plugs. If these problems are not immediately seen, but a device produces a “tingling” sensation when held, unplug it and schedule it for examination and repair.
  7. Check all equipment to see if it’s de-energised. By all means, do not work on energised electrical circuits or equipment. To confirm that the object is duly de-energised, test it first with an electrical tester.
  8. Treat spillage with due caution. If you encounter sudden spillage at the work site, such as a water leak, don’t try to approach any of the affected wires or outlets by yourself. Shut off the power from the circuit breaker or the main switch, safely unplug the cords, and ask for additional help in cleaning up.
  9. Be observant of signage. The signage that accompanies electrical equipment exists for a reason. If you see any signage denoting something as an electrical hazard (such as “Shock Risk”), take note and observe cautious behaviour.
An electrician’s job is a noble one. Their taming the “spark” keeps personnel safe, comfortable, and capable of fulfilling everyday tasks. If you’re in the line of electrical work, make sure to supplement your talent for wires and circuitry with the best safety practices.

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