Hiring a licensed electrician to do electrical work in Australia is the law. However, there are still many people who don’t. Between 1st July 2000 and 31st October 2011 there were 321 electrocutions reported to the Australian coroners. This is because occasionally people tend to overlook some of the more common safety risks of electrical work and installation and opt to do the work themselves, or have a handyman or friend get things done. Not realizing the consequences of these small mistakes can be drastic. Let the following be a reminder of the reason you should always hire a licensed electrician to do your electrical work:
1. Underestimating the power“120 volts”
High voltage from powerlines (up to 66,000 VAC) and large generators (440 Volts – 11,500 volts)can cause instant death if electrocuted; lower voltage from most power outlets around the house (120V)more commonly causes serious injury, but don’t underestimate the danger, it can still kill you, it just takes a little longer.
Ontario Power Generation’ s consulting physician , Dr AG Soto has discussed low-voltage shock exposures and he explained that a 120-volt shock can indeed kill maybe not instantly , but up to 48 hours later. He also stated that many emergency room doctors are unfamiliar with electric shock and how to treat it. The injury to the heart muscle tends to spread over time and cannot always be identified.
2. Failing to turn off the power before starting repairs.
It is absolutely vital that the electricity is turned off either at the mains, if working with wiring, or at the switch, if simply changing a light. It seems like a no-brainer but many people are killed and seriously injured because they simply didn’t check that the power was off.At Trojan TechGroup we have a strict “no live work” policy, even if we are simply changing a light bulb, we always double check to ensure power is off and there is no electrical current to the area where we are working. It is the only way to stopdanger.Licensed electrical contractors (like all the technicians at Trojan TechGroup) are trained in the appropriate safety precautions to and will always wear appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and follow the correct safety procedures when dealing with electricity.
3. Not wearing the right PPE and not wearing PPE at all.
Most people simply aren’t aware of the strict appropriate PPE to wear when handling electrical cabling and dealing with electricity. When dealing with electricity, wearing PPE could mean the difference between life and death. As a part of the safety training all our technicians are put through, they are told that even when switching off power at the mains or resetting a circuit breaker, they absolutely must wear rubberised insulating gloves.This type of equipment is often uncomfortable and hot and it limits movement, but when you know that there is power to a unit, they are critical. PPE saves lives and those that aren’t properly trained, simply won’t use it.
4. Using old and faulty test equipment to troubleshoot.
Old and damaged testing equipment can lead to serious health and safety risk. Ragged leads or dodgy meters should be replaced and testing equipment should be checkedperiodically to identify damage. Testing and tagging of equipment can only be done by a licensed electrician.
5. Not carrying out required maintenance of power system equipment
We may look at maintenance costs as an overhead expense and because everyone is trying to keep costs down, it often gets overlooked. However, the cost of unexpected service interruptions and loss of production can run into the thousands for some companies and is downright frustrating for households. It is better to invest than experience the frustrations and expense of neglect.
6. Trusting and gambling your safety on somebody who is unlicensed
Trusting is good but gambling your whole life on someone without the correct electrical license is another thing entirely. If your friend or handyman says “that’s alright we can fix that for you” ask if they are licensed. If you think, I could fix this myself… perhaps you should weigh up the safety risks. Playing with electrical equipment without the correct safety training, is playing with your life. It is always your responsibility to look after yourself, so be careful and remember…when it comes to electrical safety, trust the experts and hire someone licensed.