If you’re considering a career as an Electrician, you might wonder if it’s a dangerous profession.
After all, you could work with high-voltage electricity that might shock, harm, or even kill you.
But did you know that out of more than 735,000 Electricians working in the U.S., only a small percentage gets killed on the job? And most fatalities are more likely to be the result of a fall than from that electricity that could shock you.
Electricity is a huge part of everyday life. Without it, lights wouldn’t turn on, computers wouldn’t work, and cell phones wouldn’t charge.
But creating the connections that allow electricity to flow into our household and office devices is not easy and takes the skill of a master electrician to work correctly.
Not only is it difficult to properly wire a building, but it’s also dangerous.
- The Risks of Being an Electrician
- What are the Dangers and Risks?
- Safety Training for Electricians
The Risks of Being an Electrician
There are so many benefits of being an electrician. We’ll discuss them in a second, but before we do, there are a few risks you should be aware of before enrolling in an electrical technician training program.
Take a look at some of the risks you should carefully consider below.
You Won’t Be Able to Become a Full-Fledged Electrician Right Away.
Some people are under the impression that the only thing you need to do to become an electrician is to attend the aforementioned electrical technician training program.
You do need to take classes at a trade and vocational school before becoming an electrician. But it’s not the only step you need to take to start your new career.
You’re also going to need to spend at least a few years working as an apprentice under a master electrician. This electrician will be in charge of showing you the ropes and teaching you everything you’ll need to know to work as a full-fledged technician.
As an apprentice, you probably won’t be forced to do a lot of dangerous jobs. But you will get saddled with many of the jobs the more experienced electricians don’t want to do. You’ll have to pay your dues before eventually becoming a real electrician one day.
You’ll Have to Work a Lot of Odd Hours.
Working as an electrician is not a regular 9-to-5 job.
There are going to be times when you’re out making electrical repairs to someone’s home after they woke up to find they didn’t have any electricity. There will also be times when you’re responding to calls late at night.
Those in your community are going to depend on you to help them with all their electrical needs. And if you want to show them, they can count on you, and you’re going to have to sacrifice your work-life balance for it at times.
At the same time, you’re going to need to make sure you’re capable of focusing on the tasks at hand while you’re logging long hours. If you make one wrong move while working with electricity, it could put you and others in harm’s way.
Your Job Will Often Be Physically Demanding
Some electrical jobs are relatively simple. For example, replacing a lighting fixture or installing a new outlet for a homeowner isn’t exactly back-breaking work.
But there are going to be times when you’re pushed to the limit while tackling electrical jobs. You might have to climb up tall ladders or crawl through dark basements to finish a task.
When you’re 25, 30, or even 35, doing these things won’t be that difficult. But once you reach the ages of 40, 45, 50, and higher, you’re not going to be able to move around the same way you used to.
Working as an electrician can take a toll on everything from your back and shoulders to your knees and feet. Make sure you’re prepared for how physically demanding it can be.
Your Job Will Also Be Dangerous at Times
No matter how well you do in an electrical technician training program and how long you work as an electrician, there will always be a risk associated with working with electricity.
If you make a mistake while you’re installing electrical wires or putting in a new electrical panel for a home or business owner, you could end up electrocuting yourself. There are, unfortunately, almost 200 electricians who die every year on the job.
This represents a tiny percentage of the total number of electricians. But still, it’s a reminder that working as an electrician can be a dangerous job.
What are the Dangers and Risks?
Depending on the job, or even the day, electricians might work indoors or outdoors, at homes, businesses, and construction sites.
They often need to crawl into tight spaces or climb up high on a ladder to get to the places where electrical work needs to be done.
Electricians are most often hurt from falls, electrical burns, exposure to toxic materials, and even face increased risks from working in small tight spaces and varying outdoor conditions.
Falls are common for electrical workers who often need to perform work on a rooftop or reach overhead power lines. They also need to access electrical wiring in attics and ceilings. Working in these high places puts an electrician at increased risk of falls.
Electric shock is one of the most severe injuries faced by an electrician. This type of shock happens when a sudden discharge of electricity runs through a part of the body.
Complications of electric shock include severe burns, confusion, trouble breathing, interruption of heart rhythm, cardiac arrest, muscle pain and contractions, seizures, loss of consciousness, and even death.
Electrocution occurs in extreme cases of electrical shock that result in death. Even exposure to just a small amount of current can result in death. Although it is a risk, fortunately, electrocution is not as common as other injuries.
An electrical burn is a burn to skin or tissues caused by electric shock. Typically damage is only seen on the surface of the skin. However, a more extreme burn can sometimes damage deeper tissue and even nerves.
Safety Training for Electricians
In a good Electrician training program, you will get lots of hands-on experience to learn how to stay safe. You’ll be presented with real-life situations in a controlled environment so you can develop excellent problem-solving and safety skills. You will spend a lot of time out of the classroom and in the lab working on actual electrical units with existing industrial equipment.
And when you begin your career, you’ll most likely work with a master Electrician who will show you everything you need to know to remain safe. Even the licensing exam to become an Electrician will have safety questions, so you’ll be prepared with knowledge for the real world. And once you’re licensed, your employer should provide on-the-job training. Large employers might have a full-time safety officer who conducts weekly meetings on everything from how to prevent shocks to ladder safety, as well as enactments of real-life incidents that can result in injury. They must provide specific safety training levels to their employees by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.