What protective gear does my employer need to provide for electrical work?

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2022 | Fire Cases - Electrical Worker Burn Injuries |

Working on and repairing New York’s electrical systems is essential but dangerous. While typical safety procedures are to cut power to an area being repaired, that is not always practical in a city like New York.

One of the dangers of working on live power lines, especially those in disrepair, is the risk of arc flash explosions. These explosions can cause severe injury, leaving you in pain and out of work.

Some employers will take shortcuts and not provide the appropriate protective gear you need to do this dangerous work. Here’s what you should know about the types of gear and equipment your employer should provide.

PPE is critical

You could receive several kinds of injuries from an arc flash explosion, including burns on your eyes, face and body. To prevent injury, OSHA requires that employees working on energized circuits wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including:

  • Safety glasses
  • Leather shoes
  • Flame-resistant (FR) clothing
  • Hoods
  • Gloves
  • Hearing protection

This equipment should have the appropriate insulation for working with live electrical lines. Also, employers should regularly check the equipment to ensure that it is in working order and does not have tears or breaks that could make it ineffective.

Other types of protection

In addition to PPE, your employer must take other measures to ensure your work environment is safe when working on live electrical lines. Employers must use signage to indicate dangerous areas and barriers to prevent unauthorized entry to potentially-dangerous areas.

Depending on the site, your employer should also use protective shields and insulating materials to make the area safer.

While these precautions may not eliminate injuries, they can dramatically decrease the likelihood of an injury or reduce the amount of injury you could have from an arc flash.