MCR Safety is dedicated to keeping workers safe, protected, and informed! With that focus, we work hard to keep
users aware of both the PPE we manufacture and how it is used across specific industries. When you have an
important purpose like ours, protecting workers, there is no other choice. At MCR Safety, we are driven by our
motto: We Protect People!
Einstein once said, "Education is not the learning of facts but the training of the mind to
think." We want you to think about your safety at work, not just remember product facts like cut scores,
yarn gauge, or ARC ratings! To help with this, we've created a central place for all things
safety-related that pertain to the Electrical industry.
You may opt to continue reading to learn more about electrical contractors, electrical occupations, and the
electrician's daily work activities; or, you can simply click the hazard warning icon and be taken directly to
the safety section for this industry, its suggested PPE, and potential hazards.
Click to jump directly to the Safety, Hazards and PPE section.
Our Modern Electrical World
Electricians get power into our homes.
Electricity is essential to our modern way of life. Let’s face it, we all get nervous if we have to go any amount
of time without electricity. If you doubt that statement, just remember a time the power went out at the house,
the A/C was off for an extended period of time, or you couldn’t find a place to charge your phone. There is
essentially nothing that takes place in our modern world that electricity doesn’t touch or influence – iPhones,
work computers, microwaves, washing machines, etc.
Even on our worst days, we have access to luxurious amenities that make life more comfortable. From watching
movies at in climate-controlled theaters to keeping the lights on at the stadium while you take in a game to
vegging on the couch while you channel surf, electricity is essential to our modern life.
No Fear, the Electrician is Here!
When our homes blow fuses or our electric gadgets require more power, we will likely call a professional to fix
or upgrade the wiring. Electricians keep our homes flowing with energy! It is this highly skilled tradesman who
installs, maintains, and repairs electrical wiring and equipment.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), electrician jobs numbered about 666,900 in 2016. The good
news is, that number is expected to grow by 14% over the next 7 years.
The BLS Handbook is an excellent resource for electricians
Virtually every commercial and residential building has electrical power installed during construction. With
interest rates remaining low over the past decade, construction projects have increased, and the installation of
electrical power is in high demand. This ultimately means there is no shortage of work for skilled electricians
who can fill this need.
New construction activity has soared over the past decade, which means electricians are staying busy. IBIS World reported that
would likely generate $179 billion in 2018 and it shows no signs of slowing down. New construction activity has soared over the past decade, which means electricians are staying busy.
Beyond construction, electricians work in a multitude of industries. Hospitals, electric power companies,
factories, schools, and businesses are all wired for electricity to power A/C, appliances, computers,
lights, TVs, and equipment.
The BLS reports that electrical contractors make up the largest segment of electricians. After that, you find
most electricians working in manufacturing or for the government.
Manufacturing and production facilities have power needs to keep machines operating. As we highlight on our
there are a lot of machines and robots that must be maintained. The electrician
is the one keeping the automotive plant operating!
Here is a breakdown of where electricians are most commonly found:
|Electrical contractors and other wiring installation contractors
Training and Apprenticeships
For the most part, the path to becoming an electrician starts with
. Apprentices learn from the
current masters of the trade and spend 4-5 years in classroom study. Once a person has completed all the
requirements to become an electrician, he or she may select a specialization within the field.
As shown in this image, many trades start off as apprenticeships
Types of Occupations
Hoovers reports that 80% of electrical contracting firms have fewer than 10 employees. The employees working can
be categorized into one of these five occupations:
Commercial Electrical Panel
These electricians work in commercial buildings, on construction sites, and on mechanical electrical
systems. Offices, restaurants, and shopping malls are examples of commercial buildings. Commercial
electricians can be found performing electrical repairs or installing equipment, security systems,
and electronic key systems.
These electricians work with lighting installations, mechanical systems, security systems, and power
supplies in both residential and commercial buildings. Many journeymen electricians are found
working in construction.
Industrial settings, like mines, require electricity to power machines and provide
These electricians are different from commercial electricians because they work in industrial
operations such as factories, plants, and mines. They install, maintain, and repair industrial
electrical equipment and electronic controls.
These electricians are highly skilled electricians. Most are in a supervisory role over a staff of
laborers, apprentices, and journeymen. They typically own a contracting business. To even be
considered as a mater electrician, a minimum of seven years of experience is required in most
These electricians work in apartments and houses. They install, maintain, and upgrade electrical
equipment in residential spaces.
From repairing and servicing existing electrical systems to retrofitting and installing new systems, electricians
carry out many activities. For the most part, though, electrical work revolves around new construction, both
residential and nonresidential. While there are similar tasks required with both the installation of new
electrical systems and the maintenance of existing systems, there are some important differences between the
Installing electrical systems in new construction is considered less complicated when compared to ongoing
electrical maintenance of existing systems. Installing new electrical systems in residential construction can be
broken down into 5 steps:
Temporary electricity provided - a temporary electrical pole is installed to operate
machinery needed on-site.
Rough-in - circuit wiring is installed between the electric box and wall studs. All the
floors, windows, and doors have been installed by this stage, only the sheetrock is left.
- Temporary additions - receptacles and switches are temporarily installed.
- The finish - all switchboards, receptacles, lights, and fans are installed.
- Testing - wiring is properly checked and adjustments made as needed.
Maintaining electrical equipment is a little more complicated. Electricians must identify the source of
electrical problems and repair broken equipment. This may include replacing parts, light fixtures, or motors.
- Bending cables and conduit
- Connecting power cables to equipment
- Connecting wires to circuit breakers and transformers
- Connecting fixtures to internal and external electricity sources
- Diagnosing malfunctioning systems, machinery, and components
- Digging trenches to lay conduit
- Fabricating parts
- Fastening metal and boxes to walls
- Installing lighting and fire systems
- Installing and maintaining wiring
- Installing electrical equipment, components, and fixtures
- Installing electrical circuits, panels, and switches
- Installing new conduits
- Installing telecommunications
- Performing preventive maintenance on electrical systems and power distribution equipment
- Placing conduit, pipes, and tubing
- Pulling cables and insulated wires through conduit
- Replacing exit lights, receptacles, switch boxes, conduits, and other electrical parts
- Repairing and replacing wiring
- Repairing and replacing electrical equipment
- Servicing electrical power systems
- Terminating wires and cables
- Testing electrical equipment and parts for continuity, voltage, current, and resistance
- Threading wire and cable through ducts and conduits
- Using hand and power tools like conduit benders, wire strippers, and drills
- Using test equipment such as oscilloscopes, ammeters, or test lamps
- Working from ladders, scaffolds, and roofs
An electrician's toolkit carries a wide assortment of tools. Electrical contractors require a handful of
specialized tools, including the correct safety equipment.
Here are the tools electricians utilize to carry out the activities listed above:
- Used to conjoin two pieces of metal
- Wires can easily lacerate hands, so best to wear protective gloves
- For installing new lighting fixtures and electrical components
- Used to route new wiring through walls between boxes
- For loosening and fastening hardware
- Labeling the wires saves time when making changes
- For manipulating and cutting wire; electricians use needle-nose pliers, side-cutting pliers, and reaming pliers
- Assists in cutting the sheath on an NMC wire
- Verifies an electrical wall outlet is connected correctly
- Attaches to an electric drill and widens on end of the piping
- Electricians always need their eyes protected
- Designed with a square tip to drive a Robertson screw
- Easy to grip and adjust fasteners in tight areas
- Measures specific lengths of wire or distances to electrical boxes
- Ensures a surface is level
- Measures the potential difference between two points in an electrical circuit
- Measures the flow of electrical current at two points in the circuit
- Used to strip electrical insulation and plastic coatings from electric wire
Hazardous Construction Events Involving Electricity
Here are some events and situations where electrical hazards exist when completing the above activities:
- Contact with power lines
- Operating with lack of ground-fault protection
- Improper use of extension cords
- Opening or closing a switch or breaker
- Working around frayed or exposed electrical wires
- Working on new (hot) energized electrical circuits
- Using electrical equipment with worn-down insulation breaks, short-circuits, or exposed wires
The hazards classified as arc flash hazards may exist even when equipment is in an enclosed condition. Most of
the tools electricians utilize can easily make contact with power lines, increasing the likelihood of electrical
shock. From cranes and metal ladders, workers on a construction site must always be on guard against electrical
In 2018, over 10,000 attendees visited the NECA convention, which is considered the largest electrical
construction trade show in the U.S. Guess what product and service over 40% of them said they were interested in
learning more about during their visit? Answer: Safety Equipment and Apparel.
Do it the safe way. Do it the right way. Do it every day...
It makes sense that so many attendees answered the way they did. When you’re working around electricity and
energy sources, there is no off day. Working safely is an every day requirement, otherwise you’re going home
injured, if you’re lucky enough to go home at all.
Working without the right PPE greatly increases the likelihood of possibly catastrophic injury, doing it right
every day is a must, otherwise, injuries are not far behind.
Potential injuries to electricians include electrical shocks, burns, and cuts. With over
hospital burn centers yearly with severe arc-flash burns, electricians count on MCR Safety to provide PPE to
keep them safe. Within the construction industry, the overall rate of injuries per 100 electricians is less than
the average across all industries. See the table below:
||Incidents per 100 Employees
|Building equipment contractors
||Electrical contractors and other wiring installation contractors
Keep in mind, however, when there is an injury, the consequences are severe. In order to stay safe at work,
electricians must wear the proper PPE to protect themselves from hazardous working conditions. Protection
includes wearing ARC-rated safety vests, FR coveralls, FR shirts, and high-quality cut protection.
Working safely is an everyday requirement if you want to escape going home injured. You have the POWER to protect
yourself! At MCR Safety, we perform one function every day for a multitude of industries: Protecting People! Let us help
you protect yourself on the job the right way and keep you protected for years to come.