Jobsite Tips for Electrical Safety Month 

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It’s National Electrical Safety Month! Every May, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) organization pushes the initiative to reduce the amount of electrical-related incidents. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there are approximately 1,000 fatalities annually in the United States from electrical injuries. While many efforts to spread awareness have focused on electrical safety in the home, school, and workplace, spreading information about electrical safety tips on the job site is just as essential.   

As a professional in the electrical trade, the dos and don’ts of handling dangerous equipment may come instinctively. But whether you’re an apprentice or a seasoned pro, it’s always a perfect time for a quick refresher on some electrical safety tips to keep in mind on the jobsite. 

“When it comes to safety, you must always consider not just yourself, but also the people around you,” said Branch Manager Mike Carter, a former electrician with nearly 30 years of experience. 

1. Wear the right equipment

When it comes to electrical safety, it’s good to start off with the basics. Durable hard hats and electrical personal protective equipment (PPE) are quintessential accessories when working on the jobsite. Hard hats from brands you know and trust, like F4P, Milwaukee Tool, and Klein Tools, provide head protection capabilities for optimal safety, comfort, and fit when working on power lines and other high-risk areas.

Electrical PPE gear also includes lockout-tagout tags, arc flash protection for electrical explosions and malfunctions, electrical safety matting for added protection when working around live wires and parts, safety glasses for eye protection, electrical safety gloves to protect your hands, and more.

“If you’re working on energized circuits, having the proper PPE — like Arc Flash Cal suits, gloves, and lockout-tagout signs — is essential,” Carter added.

2. Inspect and detect

Nobody has your back like you do, and that’s especially true when it comes to electrical safety. It’s important to have a robust knowledge of electrical safety training to help you think about everything that could go wrong, even when you’ve done everything right.

When working with electrical outlets, cords, and strips, it’s critical to know if you’re working with live and active wires. Conduct a thorough electrical safety inspection and “if in doubt, test it out” with voltage and electrical testers from Fluke. No direct contact is needed for added safety to check voltage, amperage, and electrical levels.

“Always triple-check for voltage,” emphasized Carter. “When working on a circuit or breaker: check on it before you’re working on it, check on it while you’re working on it, and check on it after you’re done working on it.”

“I carry a voltage tester in my shirt pocket; it’s the first thing I grab for any type of electrical problem,” one customer added. To find more resources about electrical safety inspections and procedures, check out the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Electrical Training page.

3. Understand and use your tools correctly

As a professional electrician, it’s always good to review the tools you use and the science behind how they get the job done right. Constantly working around the risk of being electrocuted or shocked requires tools that prevent the current flow from an electrical source. These tools are non-conductive, or insulating, meaning they do not easily allow the flow of a current. Many top brands like Wiha Tools provide a wide collection of insulated pliers, cutters, screwdrivers, and more.

Plus, each hand tool is made for a specific task in a specific way. Improper use of tools can cause damage to electrical equipment, which increases the level of danger for you and others on the jobsite.

Refresher recap

Don’t put your safety on the line. You may know the information above like the back of your hand, but it’s always good to keep these tips top of mind when working on an electrical project. 

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