Did you know that working with electrics is featured in the top 10 most dangerous jobs for men?

In fact, 154 electrical fatalities and 1,640 nonfatal electrical injuries occurred in 2016 alone.

Yes, working as an electrician can be risky. From installing wiring and lighting to inspecting and repairing faulty systems, an electrician needs the right tools for the job. And part of that toolkit must include appropriate electrician work clothes.

But what do electricians wear? Is there a specific dress code to follow? Read on to find out the (not so) shocking truth!

Set the Standard

Electrical laborers are required to wear flame-resistant protective clothing anytime there may be a threat of an electrical arc flash. Industrial, auto, and oil rig electricians are required to wear a full body fire resistant suit every day.

Whether you’re an apprentice or an experienced electrician, protecting yourself with proper fire resistant attire is vital. This will prevent a tiny incident from getting out of hand and turning into a serious injury.

OSHA guidelines state that employers should “utilize NFPA 2112, standard on flame-resistant garments for protection of industrial personnel against flash fire”. This basically means that the standard for fire resistant clothing must be NFPA 2112. Before you buy, make sure the clothing is up to this health and safety standard.

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Electrician Work Clothes

You may be wondering: What do electricians wear? Are there specific electrician pants and electrician shirts you can buy?

The key is to choose clothes that are made of fire retardant materials. Fire retardant apparel is chemically treated material which helps to decrease the possibility of catching on fire. The majority of fire-resistant clothing is made from nylon or cotton.

Electrician pants and shirts should be lightweight, breathable and not overly tight which will allow you to move around freely. Long electrician shirts are always recommended over shorter styles so that no unsightly butt cracks can be seen when you’re working on something!

Whatever you do, make sure you don’t sacrifice quality for a cheaper brand. Saving a couple of dollars can be risky in the long run as a cheap deal may not provide adequate protection. Good work clothes for electrician workers should always come from a reputable seller who complies to the safety standards.

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Safety Vests First

Good work clothes for electrician workers include wearing a safety vest. Electricians are actually required to wear a safety vest if they are on a construction site or working at night.

Safety vests are designed in a variety of styles to meet various conditions, including:

  • Adjustable vests
  • Breakaway vests
  • Economy vests
  • Safety Jackets

High visible safety vests are available in orange, green and blue colors. Each color usually features a special reflective quality for a particular role. For instance, orange reflective vests are the best for use in high traffic areas. Whereas blue vests are usually worn by emergency personnel or anyone in healthcare.

An adjustable vest is a great option for electrician attire because work conditions can vary from one extreme to the next.

For instance, there will be times when an electrician will need to work in confined spaces. A tight-fitting vest would help them to avoid catching their vest on protruding objects. On the other hand, working outdoors in colder weathers may require them to put their safety vest over a bulky jacket or warm clothing.

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These Boots are Made for Walking

What do electricians wear on their feet? Anybody who works in an industrial environment must wear safety footwear.

The average safety shoe isn’t designed to be electrically safe. This means that electricians need to keep in mind the laws of electricity when choosing the right footwear.

As any trained electrician would know, electricity must have a complete circuit to complete its flow. When electricity passes through your body and hits the ground, it makes a complete circuit, which results in an electric shock. However, insulative shoes do not allow the current to pass through, preventing your body from an electric shock.

The right shoes for electrician attire must have the following characteristics:

  • Soles with electrical isolation
  • Water-resistant upper
  • Protective toecaps (non-metallic)
  • Slip-resistance soles

An electrician will spend most of their day on their feet, so it’s important to choose footwear that will keep their feet safe, comfortable and dry.

Hands for Handymen

As there are several risks involved when working with electriciy safety gloves are vital. The gloves must combine high physical endurance and have insulation qualities.

There are three kinds of gloves that differ depending on the specific job the electrician is doing.

  • Rubber insulating gloves – they are usually classified by how much voltage they can protect you against.
  • Leather protective gloves – they can be worn over the top of rubber safety gloves to provide additional protection.
  • Liner gloves – they are thin, supple gloves that can be worn inside regular gloves to provide an extra layer of protection against injuries.

Make sure to properly care for your gloves by storing them correctly and checking them regularly. If there is any sign of chemical damage or deterioration, they may need to be replaced.

And always be sure that you buy from a certified manufacturer!

Storage and Care

At the end of a tiring day when you clock off, do you throw your electrician attire in the corner of your locker? Not caring for your work clothing carefully can actually be dangerous and cause your safety gear to lose its protective elements.

You should fold your clothes neatly or hang them up carefully, especially if they are damp. Always check them over at the beginning and end of your working day, just in case there is any damage or deterioration.

Make sure to give them a thorough cleaning regularly. Most fire resistant clothing can be washed in a washing machine. But you should never use bleach and you should never put them in the dryer (unless the label says you can).

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

With great “power” comes great responsibility, both for your safety and others. Yes, by choosing appropriate electrician work clothes you could even save your life and other peoples too!

Check out our range of certified flame resistant workwear perfect for electrician apparel.