Smiling electrician working on a house box
Smiling electrician working on a house box

How many times have we heard an electrician died when his bare leg came in contact with a live wire or when he stepped on a broken beam in the news?

If the science behind electricity intrigues you, just know the US News has ranked electrician work as stressful. The level of stress in an electrician’s job arises from the “work environment and complexities of the job’s responsibilities,” said the news website. Obviously, an electrician must always be conscious of the fact his, and his user’s, life and death hang in the balance if he makes a wrong move.

Is Being An Electrician A Good Career Choice?

Electricians, like police officers, firefighters, and deep sea fishermen, make up the frontline of a dangerous job. An electrician is put into a stressful situation if they are assigned hazardous jobs or need to complete a complicated task faster than normal.

For example, if an electrician is simply required to work around a house where the voltage is not much more than 120 volts, his level of stress may be considerably lower than when he is working on power transformers, where you can hear the buzzing of electricity forging its way through the wires.  We’ve written an article to help distinguish the difference between commercial and residential electrician work here.

The Inherent Dangers of Being An Electrician

The United States government emphasizes on improving job safety and working conditions in the utility industry and has enforced strict regulations to ensure it. Despite their efforts, there are inherent dangers associated with working as an electrician. Which these risks are further exacerbated when heavy machinery, construction, bad weather, and transportation are involved, as in the case of electricity recovery after natural disasters.

Although electricians put their lives in danger every day, they hardly get the recognition they truly deserve. The task of installing, repairing and maintaining electrical systems comes with many dangers and not all of them are electrical hazards. Aside from getting severe, often lethal, electrical shocks, electricians come into contact with toxic chemicals like lead, asbestos, and solvents. They often have to work in small, confined spaces for long periods of time. They work with powerful hand-driven devices like electrical drills and can sustain eye damage from flying particles. Many times, electric workers are at risk of slipping, falling and getting cuts and abrasions from working with sharp instruments. A fault in the circuit can also lead to fires or explosions.

In 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked electrician work in the top 10 of the most dangerous job list. Fortunately, the rate of fatalities in the U.S. job market has been declining since 1994. 2014 was the worst year in the decade when fatalities increased by 2 percent over 2013 with a total of 4,679 workers killed. Electric powerline repairs made the list of the most dangerous jobs in 2016; however, with just 19.2 deaths per 100,000 worker, which indicates the aggressive policies could be working.

Nevertheless, electric workers hang their life in the balance when carrying out highly dangerous electrical tasks for us. It is time we started appreciating them.