Types of Safety Gear Required by Electricians

January 10, 2020

Every electrician is well-informed regarding the dangers of electricity. They’re also extremely well-versed in how to protect themselves on the job, where even in the safest conditions it’s still important to take precautions.

The first and best way to prevent electrical problems from sending you to a hospital in Carlsbad, NM is to make sure you’re fully equipped with the proper electrical safety gear. This gear may differ from job to job, depending on what components and projects you’re dealing with. Nonetheless, every electrician should know the basics—not only to keep yourself safe, but to remain compliant with OSHA electrical safety equipment standards.

Here’s a look at some of the basic types of electrician safety gear and why they’re part of a good safety repertoire.

Clothing and apparel

Proper apparel is your first and best resistance to electrical hazards, since it’s directly responsible for protecting your body. As a general rule of thumb, natural fiber materials are fire resistant and retardant, and insulated material is especially important. Long sleeves and pants are non-negotiable.

Realize that what you wear on a job site is directly impacted by what type of work you’re doing. For example, rewiring a GFCI outlet isn’t going to require the same type of personal protection as working on a transformer! That’s why there are Class A, B and C ratings for most materials, including helmets, protective vests and gloves. Whether you’re protecting yourself from a 20V sting or a 3,000°F arc flash, it’s paramount you have the right protective clothing and apparel:

  • Flame-resistant long-sleeved shirt
  • Natural fiber work pants
  • Rubber insulating gloves
  • Rubber-soled leather boots
  • Safety glasses
  • Hard hat

Metering devices

Electrical safety gear also extends to proactive protection—such as checking for live voltages or checking the ground in a circuit. Metering devices are an electrician’s “canary in a coal mine.” Checking the current of something before working on it prevents a big mistake and personal injury. Here again, the type of metering equipment used on site depends on the job, and certain meters are better suited to handle hot electrical currents than others:

  • Voltage detector
  • Multimeter (CAT II or III)
  • Electrical safety analyzer
  • Ground tester

General safety equipment

Beyond apparel and metering devices, electricians need to be aware of the many other types of safety equipment that can protect them on the job. Rubber-grip insulated hand tools, for example, provide an extra layer of protection against conductivity. It’s worth looking at any and all equipment deemed necessary for a job and checking to make sure there’s some standard of safety built in—rubber grips, grounding, automatic metering or shutoff, etc.

Electrician safety gear is diverse and often specific to each job. Knowing what’s required to stay compliant with OSHA, what’s necessary to do the work, and what’s imperative to your safety create an important Venn diagram of need.

Remember, an electrician who focuses on safety first and takes the proper precautions to emphasize using the right equipment is an electrician ready to get to work. For more information, reach out to the experts at JB Electric LLC.

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