Being an electrician is one of the most risky jobs that anyone could do. This is why it’s crucial to get proper training before ever attempting to handle electricity. All the same, it’s difficult to avoid injuries completely, and there are some common injuries electricians experience while they work. Read on to see some of them and know the necessary precautions that you need to take. Doing this will improve your chances of avoiding an injury and keeping yourself safe while you work so you can avoid a workers’ compensation case.
The most common injury for electricians is getting electrocuted. During an electrical installation, it’s important to take adequate safety measures in order to minimize the risk of suffering an electrical shock. While this is one of the common injuries electricians experience because it basically comes with the territory, it can be fatal and that is why it’s important to take safety measures.
These include wearing the correct safety gear and making sure that you have clear communication with your crew. You also need to stay focussed on the task at hand and check your work twice, and even thrice. It never hurts to be double-sure because the risk is high enough to warrant the precautions. Keep in mind that even if there aren’t any burns after an electrical shock as people are used to, there’s still a high potential of injury.
Electrical shock can cause arrhythmia, the loss of consciousness, difficulty breathing, seizures, and cardiac arrest. As such, it’s important to do your best to make sure that neither you nor the members of your crew are at risk of getting electrocuted. Because you’ll use your hands to handle life wires and electrical tools, it’s common that most electrical shock injuries will affect the hands.
Burns are another one of the common injuries electricians experience. This is especially true in the case when one is working with a live current. If you come into direct contact with a live wire, a burn will often result. This may be a first-degree burn, which is minor but still quite painful. This injury impacts the skin’s outer layer, causing redness and swelling. Another burn that may occur during an electrical wiring accident is a second-degree burn. This goes deeper than a first-degree burn and leads to blistering. The third type of burn that may occur is the most serious, and it’s a third-degree burn. This injury damages all the layers of the skin as well as nerves, tissues, and muscles, and it may have a distinct lack of pain.
Keep in mind that it’s possible to experience a burn even if you don’t get into direct contact with a love wire. This is because arc blasts and flashes can cause thermal burns, which are no-contact burns. An arc blast or flash occurs when powerful currents of high amperage travel through the air. These heat the air to temperatures that can go as high as 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, a serious burn can occur to anyone in the path of an arc blast.
As with electrical shock, it’s crucial to wear safety gear when working with live wires. You also need to have the right tools and equipment with you if you want to ensure that you can work safely and efficiently. It’s important to note that you can also experience and internal burn from electricity because the current may travel through your body. As such, vital organs may be permanently damaged. It may be difficult to treat burns and secondary infections commonly occur as a result. That said, you need to seek medical help the moment you suffer an electrical burn even if it doesn’t seem severe at the time.
As a result of working at heights most of the time, another one of the common injuries electricians experience is falls. Even if the electrician wasn’t working at a great height, falling from a standing position can still lead to serious injuries for local electricians. This means that it’s crucial for an electrician to take safety measures when doing electrical upgrades or installation in order to lower the chance of suffering a fall.
Some of the results of falling are joint injuries, spinal damage, brain injuries, and broken bones. These are all painful and expensive to treat, requiring a lot of after-care in the end. When you combine other aspects of electricity and these fall injuries, it’s clear that a mere fall could be a dangerous thing for an electrician, even if they’re in good health at the time of the fall. A high enough electrical current can also cause an electrician to fly through the air and fall. This means that a fall may either be a direct or secondary cause of injury.
That said, it’s important to take safety measures like making sure that the ladder you’re working on is stable and isn’t at risk of slipping. Also, make use of safety gear like safety clips and harnesses, and work with an assistant whenever possible. Doing this can drastically reduce the risk of a fall.
Cuts and Lacerations
Another one of the injuries electricians experience is cuts and lacerations. These are as a result of using sharp tools to cut electrical wires and such. If mishandled, these tools can cut an electrician, damaging skin, tissue, and muscle depending on the severity of the cut. That said, it’s important to ensure that when working with cutting tools, you do your best to minimize the chances of an injury occurring.
Electrical services call for many tools and actions to be taken with these tools. A good electrician should know how to minimize risk. For instance, by doing any cutting that’s required on the ground if possible, because this is more stable and they’ll have better control. They also know the importance of safely putting away any tools that they’re using so that they don’t pose a hazard to them and to their fellow workers. Such simple measures can make a very big difference to the outcome of an electrical fix.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
Repetitive stress injuries are another of the injuries electricians experience frequently. Given the wide variety of electrical issues that may occur as well as the different types of electrical items that may break down, it’s no doubt that there’s a large number of potential repetitive stress injuries that electricians may suffer from. These kinds of injuries are as a result of repeating a certain movement, which may be natural or unnatural. Whichever the case, it’s common for hard-working electricians to experience these injuries over time.
While fixing electric panels, for example, an electrician may have to bend their wrists, hands, shoulders, and hands awkwardly for a long time. This may leave them in pain and discomfort, a situation that may become more painful and harder to get rid of as time progresses. An electrical contractor may also have to use a lot of force to perform a task or to operate a tool. Both of these scenarios may leave them straining their joints and muscles. Bending and stopping or assuming another position for a long time can cause some serious issues as well.
These may even affect posture over time and call for medical intervention to fix it. These types of injuries can be extremely painful and affect the quality of life an electrician lives drastically. They could also end their career and lead to a lot of pain and discomfort. To avoid these injuries, it’s important to use the right industry techniques and stretch before you start working. You also need to stay attentive to your physical health and perform physical therapy from the moment you experience the first signs of a repetitive stress injury.
Thanks to working on wiring and other electrical installations in the ceiling and on the roof, electricians can be exposed to asbestos. During electrical inspections, it’s necessary for an electrician to get into each and every space in the house in order to make sure that the electrical systems are working okay. These spaces include the ceiling, where you’ll find asbestos in older houses that haven’t been brought up to modern safety standards. This may not be exactly one of the injuries electricians experience, but it’s a health hazard to be aware of.
As such, it’s necessary for an electrician who is going to work in an area where they’re likely to be exposed to asbestos to take protective measures. These include wearing respirators so that they avoid breathing in the toxic fumes. They’ll also get regular lung checkups, especially if it’s a repeat issue for them. This will help make sure that they remain in the clear as far as asbestos poisoning goes. It’s important to practice the required safety measures at all times, since it may be hard to pinpoint where a potential risk may lie.
Another one among the injuries electricians experience is a flash burn, which may result from an electrical explosion. This usually occurs when an improper connection has been made, leading to an explosion during which small pieces of copper wire or metal shoot off. If an electrician is in the way of this shrapnel, they may end up having it embedded in their skin and eyes. This will lead to serious damage, especially if the electrician was close to the source of the electrical explosion.
This penetrative injury may lead to more issues down the road such as infection as a result of foreign matter getting into the body. It’s therefore crucial to visit a hospital and have all the shrapnel from a flash burn removed by a doctor. Keep all wounds clean and you’ll have a good chance of enjoying better health without any serious complications.
This type of injury may seem minor but it will need immediate medical attention to remedy, even if it appears to be topical. It can be avoided by checking all connections and paying close attention to live wires while working with them. You should also wear eye safety gear to make sure that your eyes, which are extremely sensitive, are protected in case of anything.
There are clearly many injuries that electricians are at risk of suffering in their line of work. It’s important to take the necessary safety measures in order to keep safe. It’s also crucial to understand that there are safety standards that need to be adhered to when it comes to working in the electrical field. If any of them aren’t adhered to, it’s best to avoid working in a scenario that could put you and your crew at risk.
These safety standards include ensuring that protective equipment is available and easy to reach and keeping the tools that an electrician uses well-maintained so that they function as they should. Equipment with batteries or some other form of energy stored in it also needs to be de-energized before repair or inspection in order to make sure it’s safe to handle. Last but not least, an electrician should take the appropriate training courses to make sure that they’re adequately informed of the safety standards and procedures to follow.
Ensuring that these standards are adhered to can help minimize the occurrence of electrical injuries. It will make the field safer for everyone, improving the safety ratings of being an electrician. That said, the final responsibility lies with the electrician as they need to ensure that they’re safe and there’s no reasonable risk around them as they work. With a good sense of personal responsibility, some of the accidents named above may be avoided more easily. in case of an injury, it’s a good idea to find out if you have grounds to make any claims and get a settlement that will help you recover.