Imagine this, you are dealing with a commodity that has been proven to kill with even minimal mistakes. The profession of being an electrician is one of the riskiest professions in the world as people deal with electricity in ways that only they understand. It is said that a profession like being an electrician is not all about the books but it is more of a calling and an apprentice venture. How much you practice is even more important than how much you study. The logistics are so dynamic and varied that there are several possible electricity-related professions in this world; not only being the handy man who repairs electric faults and does electric installation, but also act as an electrical architecture, drawing possible workable plans for new buildings requiring fresh installations. But what does it take to be an efficient electrician and perfect this noble art and science of being electricity’s friend?
In this great country of Singapore, it is pretty easy to get the necessary skill. It is only a bit harder to get to operations. This is, however, very much justified considering the risky nature of this profession. According to Singapore’s Energy Market Authority, any person who wants to be an electrician must apply for a license and get approval. This license, however, comes with its own demands. For starters, a hopeful electrician should have studied and majored in a profession affiliated to electricity handling. Such professions include: Technician diploma majoring in electrical power engineering from a recognized higher institution of learning such as Singapore Polytechnic or other enlisted universities. Also the hopeful must also have had approximately 2 years of experience practicing especially the type of electrical work he is applying the license for. It is important to note that these two years of practice have to be within Singapore. After the license is approved the electrician is allowed to carry out several electricity-related tasks.
It is unavoidable to ask why many governments, not only that of Singapore, have a lot of bureaucracy when it comes to this profession. I’ll tell you why. For instance, once one acquires the license the following are the tasks he is required to handle, which put them, as electricians, at risk.
1. Installation of electricity
In every relevant new building coming up, electricity must be there. Not only residential or commercial buildings, but also recreational ones. People must just have electricity everywhere. The electrician thus draws up the plans for the installation. Improper installation is not a negotiable risk. The plans must be perfect to ensure power does not leak anywhere. When power is not installed properly it could lead to deaths of several people or even cause electrical fires. This puts the electrician at risk for a simple mistake could lead to death of not only the electrician but the inhabitants of the building. Further, any death from electrical faults are blamed at electricians and this could lead to possible jail time. During installation, the electrician deals with the electricity one on one. If he doesn’t wear proper regalia or even handle the power properly, the maintenance person can be electrocuted and fried beyond recognition.
2. Repair and maintenance
Whenever there is an electrical faults, the electricians are the people first called. They come deal with the situation and handle it accordingly. Even when an electrical mistake is done by a home user, the electrician has to be the one to fix the problem. Also, once in a while, the electricians just come and check the state of the electricity installations within the house. Wear and tear of cables from external factors such as rodents lead to possible electrical faults that could be devastating to electricians and users.
3. Switching operations
Electricians carry out switching operations from within power grids and substations. During installations and maintenance, especially of big buildings, the power is switched from a substation to ensure no harm begets the electricians on the ground. If a mistake is done by the electrician at the substation, several exposed wires at that time will harm the electricians on the ground plus any other casualties who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
You may say, electricians know what they are doing but here is something to chew on; electricians are exposed to the following risks that are beyond their control:
· Exposure to harmful substances that come with electricity and its installation
Such substances include: lead, asbestos, solvents and even solder. These materials are used during installation and they are harmful to human beings especially when improperly exposed. Exposer to UV radiation during welding is also one other way that electricians are at risk.
· A bad working environment
Electricians are known to work facing awkward positions that may eventually damage their muscles and bones. Also, they work at very high heights and this increases the possibility of a trip, slip or fall. In addition to this, depending on the nature of the building, electricians often work in very confined and uncomfortable places. This greatly reduces the comfort levels of this profession.
· Risk of injuries that are electrical
Since electricity is known to spark and cause fires, electricians are exposed to possible burns while dealing with electricity. Also, electrical shocks are very probable when dealing with power. Depending on the voltage of the power when being electrocuted, some electricians are fatally wounded.
· Injuries from equipment
Electricians use very many equipment during the whole process of handling power. It is this same equipment that harm the electricians at times. This injuries may be so severe that at times, it handicaps the user, or worse, even cause death.
It is therefore very risky to be an electrician but luckily there are several measures taken to counter their probable high level of professional risk. Some of this measures include:
· Taking shifts to avoid working any particular electrician.
· Keeping all equipment in good order
· Avoid awkward positions that may harm the electrician.
· Be very careful and follow protocol while handling power.
· Inspect work area before commencing work and follow work ethics to the letter.
No doubt that this profession is risky but with many measures being put in place, being an electrician can only get better.