Per the OSHA site, “Electricity has long been recognized as a serious workplace hazard. OSHA's electrical standards are designed to protect employees exposed to dangers such as electric shock, electrocution, fires, and explosions.”
I will comment from the perspective of the proving ground garage where I most recently worked. Our team included electrical technicians and our focus was automotive and military advanced future vehicles. Safety was always a top priority – from electrical vehicle work to building/equipment safety. For our team members, we had regular training. We also did safety messages daily, safety walks, and equipment checks. For some work, specialized training was required. (for example – special training was required to work on electric vehicles, high voltage systems, or on electric vehicle batteries.)
As part of the electrician training, you would learn of potential electrical hazards, and methods to protect yourself. The OSHA and company standards are put in place help inform and support the required education and training. I would expect continual learning opportunities with the company where you work – to evolve your craft as the industry evolves.
Electrician work is very exciting. A few examples of daily electrical technician activities: building wiring harnesses for advanced vehicles, root causing electrical issues on current and advanced concept vehicles, readying vehicles for testing at the proving grounds, using various shop equipment, working with engineers and CAD designers to develop concept vehicles including providing input on designs and concepts, inventing, disassembling and assembling vehicles and components, garage safety walks/equipment checks in work areas, and supporting validation / testing activities. Our team was highly skilled and in great demand – it is a great field to go into.
Best wishes as you explore your future career.
James Constantine Frangos
James Constantine’s Answer
Great question! In Australia, this topic is known under the term OHS.
Let's first understand that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lays down strict rules for safety and health in the workplace, and electricians are certainly included. If you're considering a career as an electrician, it's vital to familiarize yourself with these rules to maintain a safe and healthy workplace.
Here are some common safety issues and OSHA violations that electricians often encounter:
1. Electrical Hazards: These are a major safety concern for electricians and can include things like exposed wires, equipment that's not properly grounded, and overloaded circuits. To avoid these risks, electricians should always follow the correct safety procedures when working with electrical systems, such as turning off power sources before starting maintenance or repairs.
2. Fall Hazards: Electricians often work at heights, like on ladders or scaffolding, which can lead to fall risks. To prevent falls, electricians should always use the right fall protection gear, like harnesses and safety nets, and make sure all equipment is securely fastened before climbing.
3. Struck-by Hazards: Electricians can be hit by falling objects or equipment, or even moving vehicles. To avoid these risks, electricians should always wear hard hats and keep a safe distance from any potential hazards.
4. Caught-in or Caught-between Hazards: Electricians can get trapped in or between equipment or machinery, especially when working in tight spaces or with heavy machinery. To prevent these risks, electricians should always make sure all equipment is properly guarded and that there's enough space around machinery.
5. Health Hazards: Electricians can be exposed to health risks, like electromagnetic fields, noise, and dust. To avoid these risks, electricians should always wear the right personal protective equipment (PPE), like gloves and respirators, and make sure all equipment is properly ventilated.
To comply with OSHA rules and maintain a safe work environment, electricians should always follow the correct safety procedures and guidelines. Here are some best practices for electricians:
- Train all employees properly on OSHA rules and safety procedures.
- Regularly conduct safety inspections and address any hazards or violations found.
- Provide the right PPE and make sure all employees use it consistently.
- Implement a policy for a drug-free workplace and regularly drug-test all employees.
- Encourage open communication and reporting of safety incidents or near misses.
In conclusion, as a future electrician, it's crucial to be aware of the common OSHA violations and safety issues in the industry. By following the correct safety procedures and guidelines, electricians can reduce the risk of accidents and maintain a safe and healthy work environment.
Here are three authoritative reference titles to support this answer:
1. “OSHA Regulations for Electricians” by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
2. “Electrical Safety for the Electrician” by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
3. “Electrician’s Safety Handbook” by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)
Remember, safety should always be your top priority as an electrician. By following the correct safety procedures and guidelines, you can ensure a safe and healthy work environment for yourself and your colleagues.
I like your question!
Safety is an important matter.
Yes! you should be fully aware of OSHA safety requirements. You can find out more info on the OSHA website.
But here's my advise on what you should know-
1. Hazard Communication and symbols
2. Trainings required for each job as an electrical engineer.
3. Lockout/Tagout Procedures
4. Emergency exit accessibility.
5. Material handling