Electricity is so commonplace that it’s easy to forget that it’s also very dangerous. Electricity can cause painful shocks, damage equipment, start fires and even kill. When working with electricity, prevention is key for avoiding these serious consequences. Doing a risk assessment, staying away from electrical wires and chords while working and turning off the electrical supply when working directly with wiring or machinery are just the starting points for working safely with and around electricity.
While prevention is crucial with regard to safety in general and especially when it comes to electrical safety, PPE (personal protective equipment) such as dielectric safety glasses can be a last line of defense in case of exposure to an electrical arc thus helping to reduce injury. While they may not necessarily prevent injury in an electrical accident, wearing PPE equipment such as dielectric safety glasses may help to lessen the severity of the damage.
Dielectric safety glasses provide an additional level of safety for individuals frequently working with or being near individuals working with equipment or circuits that may be energized. Dielectric safety glasses are made of a non-conducting substance and have no metal parts, so they insulate electricity rather than let it pass through thus further protecting the individual should an electrical arc or accidental contact with an energized circuit occur. Of course, following guidelines for additional PPE (wearing EH rated safety shoes and dielectric gloves, for example) is also essential in minimizing personal injury to individuals involved in electrical accidents.
Individuals needing to seriously consider dielectric safety glasses include electrical lineman, electronic repair technicians, battery maintenance and testing personnel, maintenance mechanics, and industrial machine repair technicians. While many individuals, welders for example, are required to wear special helmets or face shields to protect against “welders flash” (a painful inflammation of the outer layer of the cornea), adding dielectric safety glasses below the helmet or shield can give extra assurance and protection.
Dielectric safety glasses are a great option in the home as well as in the workplace with the general rule being to always wear safety glasses, goggles or shields when working with energized equipment, when soldering or even being in the vicinity of operating machinery that is energized. When choosing safety glasses, be sure they are impact resistant as well as having a wraparound lens to provide near perfect orbital seal. Safety glasses that provide this seal help protect against flying objects such as fragments when cutting wires and even sparks and other flying particles.
Working with electricity is a dangerous. Prevention and proper protective equipment are key components in minimizing serious injury and hopefully preventing death should an electrical accident occur.