Working as an electrician requires some essential types of clothes and workwear for both comfort, safety reasons, and the prevention of long-term injury. This article will give you an introduction as to what are the most important workwear items for electricians.
On a daily basis, an electrician needs to wear heavy-duty work pants, safety shoes, knee pads, a strong belt to carry tools, and proper seasonal clothing. For safety measurements, an electrician will also need to use workwear such as safety glasses, dust masks, and ear protection like earplugs.
We as electricians need to be in possession of a bare minimum of clothing and items ready to do the proper work. Every electrician has their own preferences, but to stay safe and working for many years some can be considered more essential than others. In this next section, you will be introduced to the most important ones.
What an Electrician Need to Wear and Have (on a Daily Basis)
Protective clothing and equipment are essential to protect an electrician from electrical hazards. The following is a list of items that should be worn by all workers in order to ensure their protection and comfort.
Work Pants (With Lots of Pockets)
Work pants for craftsmen in the trades have been specifically designed for comfort while working in the field. Work pants usually feature multiple pockets and a placeholder for knee pads. They protect you from dirt, stains, and spills at the workplace. Workwear pants come with many helpful features such as reinforced fabric and elastic waistbands.
Also Read: What Does an Electrician Actually Do?
In recent years wordpants are being provided with elastic material in general. This is a particular nice feature, as electricians often find themselves either crawling or crouching down to reach electrical components. The obvious reason that lots of pockets are a benefit, is that it enables an electrician to also have the most essential tools at hand. In the particular model (shown in the image above), there are a total of no less than 13 pockets.
Safety shoes are footwear designed for protection against hazards in the workplace. They are worn by electricians and other construction workers who must be protected from falling objects or other hazardous conditions on a job site. There are different types, designs, and styles of safety footwear that have been developed over time to meet specific needs. However, safety is the most important feature, as safety shoes should mostly protect against foot injuries from external forces and slipping.
Knee Protection Pads
Knee pads are designed to protect your knees when installing electrical components on floor level and while working in tight spaces and on the floor. Knee pads can help prevent injuries that could occur if you accidentally bump into an exposed wire while working. At first, most people find knee pads to be uncomfortable and it takes a lot of time getting used to them.
Also Read: Is it Hard Work Being an Electrician?
The more you use knee pads, the more you get used to them. This will serve to become a great benefit for the future health of your knees and body in general. You should try to keep your electrician’s knee pad snug against your body at all times. When it comes loose or rubs up against clothing, it may become ineffective and in many cases provide more damage than benefits.
A Strong Belt (Preferably Elastic)
Belts are used by electricians to sustain the weight of the many tools needed for electrical work. You want to find the most fitting work pants, as they help in keeping the pants in the same position. However, if you are like most people, your weight fluctuations and waist size can change over time. By using an elastic work belt, you will at all times be able to carry all of the essential tools on a daily basis.
Heavy Duty Work Gloves
Work gloves are specifically designed to protect you against dirt and rough surfaces. Work gloves also provide protection from cuts, burns, and other injuries that may occur while working in a tough environment. Electrical work gloves are available in a variety of materials including leather, vinyl, polyester, or nylon.
“My work gloves should be as tight, to the point that they almost squeeze the blood out of my hands”.Quote of an electrician at work.
Gloves come in various sizes so they can fit your hand comfortably, as this is the most important feature of a proper work glove. You want work gloves to be quite snug, and a general tip is to always have them to be as tight as possible. Loose gloves will make your hands sweat while preventing you to hold on to smaller electrical equipment. Work gloves are cheap and can be replaced easily. However, some electricians also wash the gloves by hand and let them dry overnight.
Rubber gloves for electricians are used in electrical work to protect against electrical shock hazards. They are often worn when working around high voltage power lines, electrical panels, and other equipment that may have a power current. Rubber gloves are also used by workers who handle or work near hazardous chemicals such as acids, caustics, pesticides, solvents, and other flammable liquids. Rubber gloves can help keep your hands dry while performing these types of jobs, which is important because wet hands make it more difficult to perform certain tasks safely.
An electrician’s clothing should be comfortable, durable, and able to withstand the rigors of working in different types of temperatures and conditions. The following are the most essential types of seasonal clothing for an electrician (and other craftsmen).
- Clothes with long sleeves and legs (to protect against splinters and bruices)
- Short sleeves and shorts (for warm weather).
- Jackets for all seasons (raincoat, windbreaker and winter jacket)
- Seasonal shoes (one warm pair for the winter season and one pair for the warmer season)
- Thermal underwear and warm socks.
- Hats for sun and rain protection
Small Tool Bag
The tool bag should be sized according to what you plan to carry. For example, an electrician’s tools bag will have pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters, a knife, and other items that may be needed while working. A nice little feature is that some tool bags can be attached to the work pants if they are provided with the proper straps. In this way, you can shift sides and by doing so allocate the weight of the tools in different places of the body.
Like all other people, electricians have a favorite hand to work with. If you are right-handed, the tool bag will typically be placed on the right side. Keeping the weight of the tools on one side all the time can lead to an uneven weight on the body. By switching sides at times, long-term injury can be prevented.
Safety glasses are used by electricians to protect eyes from flying debris, dust, sparks, splinters, and chemicals. Eye protection in the form of safety glasses should be impact-resistant and shatterproof. You should wear safety glasses whenever you are working around dangerous equipment or substances. Oftentimes electricians will install electrical equipment (such as lamp outlets) and drill holes in ceilings. This can prove to be a particularly dangerous task if no eye protection is being applied.
Dust masks are used by electricians to protect the respiratory system from inhaling harmful dust. They are designed to fit tightly over the nose and mouth. Dust masks are designed to filter out matter such as dust, pollen, smoke, and even bacteria.
Asbestos is a particular kind of hazard, that has previously been proven to cause long-term illnesses for electricians. Even rockwool, used for insolation, is right now being monitored for the possibility of being a human carcinogen (cause cancer). While working in places with lots of insulation, you should for safety reasons, therefore always wear a dust mask to protect against dangerous particles.
Earplugs are very effective at blocking out high-frequency sounds such as those produced by heavy-duty electrical tools. They can also be used to protect against loud noises in industrial settings and construction sites in general.
Electricians, who neglect the use of ear protection, can over the years develop noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Earplugs should be able to reduce the external noise by a minimum of 30 decibels, as this blocks out the most damaging frequencies. Today there are also other options for protecting your hearing, for example with the use of notice-canceling headphones.
This article could have easily included additional workwear and clothing items. Usually, your employer provides you with the workwear, and will also hand over the needed workwear suited for specific assignments. Although, if you have the essential items described on this list, you will in almost all cases be prepared for the daily tasks of an electrician.