The electrician is the person most often called upon to repair a home, but it’s a job they often don’t do themselves.
With the job often taking a while, a recent survey by the Electrician’s Union and the National Home Builders Association (NHBA) found that electricians in the U.S. are more than twice as likely as other workers to have an injury.
The NHBA said a whopping 23% of electricians had been injured in 2016, and nearly 40% of the respondents said their injuries occurred in the past 12 months.
Many people think they have the equipment to perform this job, but for many, it’s not an easy job.
The NHBA survey said nearly one in four electricians surveyed have experienced a health or safety issue in the course of their work, such as a fall or a burn.
It said nearly 20% had had a work-related injury, and more than one in five had a disability.
“We are seeing an increasing number of injuries, so this is definitely a growing concern,” said David Wiercioch, president and CEO of the NHBA.
“I think the NHBLA is saying, ‘What are the things that we can do to help?'”
One of the big reasons is because electricians aren’t trained to handle a fire.
Wierl said electricians are required to wear fire extinguishers on the job.
If a fire breaks out, they’ll need to use an extinguisher and then put out the flames.
That means they may not have enough time to get to the source of the fire.
Electricians also don’t have the training to deal with emergencies like a tornado or a lightning strike, Wierch said.
The union says there are more and more electricians taking on more hazardous jobs, including hazardous materials handling and emergency medical care, because electric contractors and utilities are paying them more.
“It is really hard to get electricians trained,” Wierczynski said.
“They’ve got to work with a lot of different contractors, and the equipment they have to use, and that’s something we’ve seen with the explosion of the utility industry.”
Wierczansky said electric workers are not only getting more dangerous jobs, but they’re also taking on a lot more risk.
“They are working overtime, and it’s the overtime that can result in injuries, and sometimes even death,” he said.
The state’s Electric Safety Act requires employers to make sure electricians who have been injured can get help, but electric contractors say they’re still not required to provide that training.