Onsite safety and streamlined operations are essential to the success and protection of tradies working across Australia. With the daily exposure to potential electrical hazards, understanding and employing basic and advanced safety measures are crucial for the protection of both the electricians and the integrity of the project at hand.
David Holmes, CEO of Fergus, said, “Recently, our team at Fergus joined forces with the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA), focusing on one primary objective: to enhance job site safety for electricians. By merging Fergus’s technological expertise with the extensive industry knowledge of NECA, we’re now in a unique position to provide electricians with practical tools and insights.
“This collaboration is all about helping electricians tackle their day-to-day risks head-on.”
Knowing how to keep safe and follow proper procedures protects electricians in more ways than one; not only do electricians stay safe onsite, but it also makes sure the job is done right.
To help ensure you’re working safely and efficiently, here are some practical tips from Fergus to keep in mind:
1. Be prepared for emergencies
Emergencies can strike without warning. So, always have your first aid, CPR, and specialised rescue techniques at the ready. Remember that even just 50 volts can be life-threatening. Regularly refresh your training to stay sharp, and schedule periodic retraining sessions so you don’t fall behind.
2. Wear proper safety gear
Never underestimate the protection your safety gear offers. Make sure to don your hard hats, safety goggles, electrical-resistant gloves, and non-conductive boots every time. Consider your clothing too—it can be a barrier against risks like sweat meeting electricity. Make a checklist of your essential safety gear and review it before starting any job, and make sure to replace ripped or broken gear immediately.
3. Practice common sense with equipment and workspaces
Always err on the side of caution. Treat every device as if it’s powered. If you spot any damage—be it on cords, installations, or plugs—report it straight away. And remember, using another electrician’s tools without permission is a no-go. As for your workspace, keep it neat. A tidy space reduces the chances of accidents. At the end of each day, do a quick review of your workspace to ensure it’s clean and safe for the next day.
4. Conduct regular risk assessments
Before diving into a task, always evaluate the risks. By identifying and understanding potential hazards, you’ll know what to address first and can plan your work accordingly. Keep a risk assessment checklist on hand to ensure you cover all the bases.
5. Digital Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS)
Digitise your SWMS to enjoy the benefits of mobile safety planning. Adopting this digital approach will not only streamline your onsite safety procedures but will also offer a more efficient way to implement and monitor them. With the software, contractors can easily list high-risk activities and assign tasks, potential dangers, and control measures to each. This integration enhances onsite safety and efficiency, reducing administrative hurdles. Familiarise yourself with the features of the digital SWMS and integrate it into your daily workflow for better safety outcomes.
David says “Staying safe on the job should always be a priority for electricians. It’s about using the right tools and always following safety rules.
“By taking these precautions and leveraging tools like digital SWMS, electricians not only protect themselves but also uphold the standards and reputation of their profession. And while taking shortcuts might seem faster, it’s not worth the risk.
“Always prioritise safety—it’s an investment in your future and the future of the industry.”