Can an electrician work alone?


Are you a self-employed electrician and work alone? Do you know what the standard says about the electrician doing work alone? In this article, we will talk about whether the electrician can work alone and in what situations the electrician should work in pairs. Come on!

Can an electrician work alone?

In the industrial area, it is widespread for the electrician to work in pairs with another electrician or with an electrical assistant. So many people think this is a rule, but does every electrician need to work in pairs? Since we are talking about a matter of security in electricity, we have to consult NR 10.

NR 10

The  NR 10 is a regulatory standard that establishes the implementation of control measures and preventive systems to ensure the integrity of the employees working in electrical facilities with electricity, either directly or indirectly.

The NR 10 applies in the generation phase, transmission, distribution, and consumption of electrical energy, including the design, build, construction, installation, operation, maintenance of electrical installations, and any work performed nearby.

NR 10 has a single topic that deals with the individual work of an electrician, which is in item 10.7.3. Item 10.7.3 says that “Services in electrical installations powered by HV, as well as those performed in the Electric Power System – SEP, cannot be performed individually.” ‘

Item 10.7.3 of the NR 10 standard, which talks about the obligation of an electrician to work alone.

The NR 10 standard says that voltage higher than 1000 volts in alternating current or 1500 volts in direct current, between phases or between phase and earth, is a high voltage (AT). Already SEP is the set of facilities and equipment for the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power to the measurement, inclusive.

The standard makes it very clear that only in AT services or SEP can you not work individually, so in AT and SEP, the electrician will need to work in pairs or assistants not to perform work alone. Already in low voltage and extra-low voltage, the standard does not create a prohibition for individual employees, so an industrial electrician who conducts work on low voltage can instead work alone.

Low Voltage (BT) is a voltage higher than 50 volts in alternating current or 120 volts in direct current and equal to or less than 1000 volts in alternating current or 1500 volts in direct current, between phases or between phase and earth. Extra-low voltage, on the other hand, is less than 50 volts in alternating current or 120 volts in direct current, between periods or between phase and ground.

Advantages – Helper

We know that the profession that involves electricity is very unpredictable and can lead to accidents, so it is essential to have NR 10 training always up to date, both the electrician and the electrical assistant.

The NR 10 standard does not require the electrician to have a helper to work on low voltage. However, having an electrical assistant is much more convenient, as there are significant advantages that an electrician’s assistant can bring in the execution of jobs such as:

Safety for the electrician

The first and most important advantage is in terms of security. When carrying out work on electricity, we run a significant risk of suffering an electric shock. For this reason, it is always good to work with a helper because, in the event of an accident, there will always be a person to help to ask for help or doing first aid.

Assist in working at height

Most electricians are always at great heights, changing lamps, installing fans, chandeliers, etc. NR 35 is the norm that establishes the minimum requirements and protection measures for work at height, so it is essential for the electrician who is continually working at height to have NR 35 training to complement his curriculum and especially for the safety of his life. However, even with good NR 35 training and excellent equipment, having a helper to help with rope tying, holding ladders, keeping people away from the workplace is an additional safety for the electrician.

Transport equipment and tools

A good electrician always has a wide variety of tools and equipment to perform the job properly, thereby making it difficult for a person to carry these tools to all sites on the job. The helper, in addition to helping to load tools and equipment, can also perform simple cleaning and maintenance on tools and equipment, thus always leaving tools and equipment ready for use.

Cable routing

Cable routing is not always a natural activity to do on your own, even more over long distances. The helper is essential to assist in the passage of cables; you can stay at another point of the installation pulling the wires so that it does not lock in the conduits, thus speeding up the service and avoiding headaches.

Work delivery

The clock is the great enemy of electricians for the delivery of the service. And hiring a helper contributes a lot to reduce the delivery time of the service, thus being done at the right time because with a helper, the electrician can perform more complex tasks such as closing QDC. In the meantime, the helper can perform, for example, the installation of sockets, switches, mirrors, etc. So lost time, if you were working alone.

Most self-employed electricians think that hiring a helper to cover for bankruptcy, but that is not what will lead an electrician to bankruptcy. Below we have a video from the World of Electrical showing five errors that influence the electrician to bankruptcy.