OSH Answers Fact Sheets
Easy-to-read, question-and-answer fact sheets covering a wide range of workplace health and safety topics, from hazards to diseases to ergonomics to workplace promotion. MORE ABOUT >
What does an electrician do?
Electricians work in commercial, industrial or residential settings. Some of their main duties are to:
- Install, repair and maintain electrical systems.
- Conform to building codes and other regulations.
- Read, prepare or interpret blueprints and drawings.
- Prepare cost estimates and documentation for clients.
- Use, clean and maintain various equipment.
- Supervise apprentices or other workers.
What are some health and safety issues for electricians?
Electricians work in a variety of settings and may be exposed to several hazards, including:
- Lead, solvents, solder, and other materials.
- Risk of fatal electrical shock.
- Risk of electrical burns.
- Working in confined spaces.
- Welding hazards, including UV radiation.
- Extreme temperatures.
- Risk of pain or injury from awkward positions, repetitive manual tasks, or lifting heavy objects.
- Moulds, fungi and bacteria.
- Risk of infection from bird or rodent droppings.
- Working at heights.
- Risk of eye injury from flying particles.
- Slips, trips and falls.
- Working with various hand tools, power tools and equipment.
- Shift work or extended work days.
- Working alone.
- Possible exposure to asbestos.
What are some preventive measures for electricians?
- Keep tools and equipment in good working order.
- Use appropriate personal protective equipment for the task, including footwear.
- Keep work areas clear of clutter and equipment.
- Avoid awkward positions, and repetitive tasks, or take frequent breaks.
- Learn safe lifting techniques.
- Follow a recommended shift work pattern, and know the associated hazards.
- Inspect work area before work starts to identify potential hazards and their controls.
What are some good general safe work practices?
- Follow correct procedures for:
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