Personal Voltage Detectors (PVDs) alert workers to the presence of energized wires or equipment. Jobs that involve working with electrical equipment or power sources, particularly if they are damaged or faulty, or jobs that expose workers to energized equipment in wet or damp conditions or in confined spaces are at risk of sustaining electrical injuries. All of these workers can benefit from using a PVD.
Workers Who Face Significant Risks
Industries that involve working primarily with electrical equipment include:
- Electrical and power generation: This industry involves working with high-voltage wires, power generators, transformers, and other electrical components. In addition to maintenance and upgrade work, these workers also repair broken or faulty components and respond to power outages.
- Construction: Construction workers often work in proximity to electrical wiring and equipment. While performing their jobs, they may need to test circuits for the presence of voltage and work around exposed wires. They also use generators, and they also use a lot of power tools. Roofers, especially, can be exposed to energized wires from incoming power lines.
- Maintenance: Building maintenance workers wear many hats, and one of the critical roles that many of them perform is to keep the building’s various systems operational, including electrical systems such as HVAC, elevators, appliances, light fixtures, and outlets.
- Telecommunications: Workers in the telecommunications industry often work with electrical equipment and wiring and may need to test circuits to determine voltage. Telecom equipment is often mounted on the same poles as electrical power lines.
- Manufacturing: Manufacturing plants often have large, complex electrical systems that require regular maintenance and testing. Today’s factories have a lot of robotic and automated systems, which generally use higher voltages and amperage than standard electrical appliances. Operating and maintaining these systems can expose workers to electrical injuries.
- Emergency Response: Firefighters, EMTs, and Police respond to all types of emergencies, from vehicle accidents to fires, crime scenes to earthquakes. In all of these scenarios, they may encounter downed power poles or partially destroyed or collapsed buildings that may leave live wires or damaged electrical equipment exposed.
Electrical Injuries Kill or Injure Workers Every Year
Occupations that involve working with electricity or electrical equipment can be dangerous, and electrocution is a risk workers face in these occupations. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following occupations have experienced the most electrocution deaths between 2011 and 2020 are:
- Electricians: 402 electrocution deaths
- Construction laborers: 236 electrocution deaths
- Electrical power-line installers and repairers: 186 electrocution deaths
- Roofers: 82 electrocution deaths
- Painters, construction, and maintenance: 62 electrocution deaths
In addition to these fatalities, contact with energized lines and equipment cause numerous non-fatal injuries. Further, while these occupations have reported the most electrocution deaths, any job that involves working with electricity or electrical equipment can be dangerous if proper safety measures are not taken.
When it Comes to Electricity, Worker Safety is Paramount
Unfortunately, electrical injuries are often serious; if they are not fatal, they can still cause long-term harm, including permanent disability. Consequently, employers should prioritize worker safety by providing appropriate training, equipment, and safety protocols to prevent accidents and injuries. Safety training is critical for every worker who may be exposed to working with electrical equipment regularly. Electrical injuries are more likely if workers do not know the dangers of energized wires, outlets, and equipment. All workers should be trained to identify and protect against potential risks.
Another way to protect employees from electrical risks is by having them wear personal voltage detectors (PVDs). Voltage detectors can help workers to identify and avoid electrical hazards, reducing the risk of electrocution and other injuries.
Safeguard Equipment® manufactures PVDs that are industry leaders. Their COMPASS line of PVDs can be clipped onto a hat, giving users hands-free assistance in detecting the presence and location of energized equipment. The device can be set to detect both low- and high-voltage wires or equipment, and its current detection capabilities can even detect live wires that are shrouded by non-ferrous barriers.
COMPASS PVDs are a critical component of personal protective equipment that workers in many industries can utilize, giving them an additional “sixth sense” that warns them of electrical dangers. To find out more about our PVDs, contact Safeguard Equipment today.