If you’re thinking about becoming an electrician, it is important to understand the physical requirements of this career. Electricians are responsible for ensuring power is supplied to structures in the most efficient and safe way possible.
They need to spend a few years working as an apprentice before earning their license to work independently. That means learning everything from how to properly install wiring to the proper safety protocols for various situations.
Lifting and Carrying
Undoubtedly, a job as an electrician can be physically demanding. After all, it’s not just the lifting and carrying of heavy loads that poses a challenge for those who choose to pursue this trade, but also the fact that electricians often have to contort their bodies into tight spaces such as crawlspaces or attics where they may find themselves working on power cables or electrical wires. This type of work takes its toll on the back and can cause great discomfort.
It’s important for those who choose to become an electrician to remember that while the job can be physically demanding, it doesn’t have to be painful or uncomfortable. In fact, practicing smart lift and carry techniques can help make the job less strenuous for those who do it on a regular basis.
Many common workplace injuries involve overexertion –lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, or carrying too much weight or using improper lifting techniques. Lifting and handling loads accounts for over 20% of all lost-time injuries in the workplace.
Using proper lifting and handling techniques can help prevent injury, increase productivity, reduce worker fatigue, and lower operating costs. Try to avoid manual lifting altogether or use a mechanical lift or hand truck. When lifting a load, keep it close to the body and center your feet shoulder-width apart to provide the greatest amount of power for the lift. When bending to pick up a load, bend at the knees instead of the waist, and maintain a neutral spine alignment.
Other factors that affect lifting and handling include temperature – cold temperatures can decrease muscle flexibility, while hot conditions can lead to heat stress. Make sure to wear clothing appropriate for the weather and drink lots of water in order to avoid dehydration. It is also recommended that workers try to perform work during daylight hours if possible.
The physical demands of kneeling are significant. When you bend at the knees, it places strain on the joints of the knees. Over time, repeated and prolonged kneeling can lead to knee osteoarthritis (OA). The joint becomes weak and irritated, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Kneeling also puts pressure on the lower back, which can be uncomfortable if you are in this position for extended periods of time. To help minimize these discomforts, you can wear supportive shoes or use a cushioned pad to rest on while you are on your knees.
A lot of people kneel to pray, work in the garden, or do yoga. It is a more penitent posture than standing, and it’s one way to show respect for God or a higher power. But it’s also a common gesture of protest, as demonstrated by Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who chose to take a knee rather than stand for the national anthem in 2016 before games.
In this case, the kneeling was a sign of support for the Black Lives Matter movement. In other cases, people kneel to mourn or beg pardon.
The act of kneeling involves bending the knees and placing your hands on the ground. It is an ancient position of prayer, worship, and submissiveness. The practice can be traced back to the earliest religious ceremonies and is still used by some groups today.
Some studies suggest that kneeling can be a risk factor for occupational injuries. Kneeling combined with heavy lifting, squatting, or prolonged knee bending can increase the likelihood of developing knee osteoarthritis.
Health and safety professionals must assess job tasks involving repeated, prolonged knee bending. They can also look at ergonomic factors and assistive devices that can help lessen the impact on worker health. They should also advise workers on good ergonomic practices to reduce the need for kneeling.
Reaching Above Your Head
Electricians spend a lot of time reaching above their heads to install or repair electrical fixtures and wiring. This means they need to have good balance and be in good health to avoid injuries and strain. While this is a big drawback of the job, it also makes it a highly rewarding career for those who like to build and create things with their hands.
Another benefit of being a tradesperson is that you don’t have to incur the same amount of student debt as people with university degrees. Instead, you can choose to take classes at a trade and vocational school that prepares you for your new career without breaking the bank. Apprenticeships are also an option for many electricians that allow you to earn while you learn.
While you may not get the same prestige as working at a university, being an electrician offers you the opportunity to make a real difference in your community. Whether you’re helping to build a new home for a family or repairing an older power outlet in a school, the things you do as an electrician will impact those around you positively.
If you enjoy being your own boss and having a high level of self-discipline, then being an electrician could be the right career choice for you. You can choose to work as an independent contractor or join a union that will help you find the best jobs in your area and give you access to a wide range of benefits.
While being an electrician isn’t the easiest profession to get into, it can offer you a great salary and plenty of opportunities to advance in your career. It will be a physically demanding occupation, but it is a great choice for anyone who wants to be their own boss and make a difference in their community. Just be sure to take the time to protect your body by taking care of your knees, investing in a good trolley tool bag, and wearing comfortable clothing on site.