Color Blindness

Published on March 27th, 2013 | by Color Blindness Editor


Can Colorblind Individuals Work as Electricians?

Color blindness is not simply an inconvenience for some. It can actually stand in the way of numerous career paths. Some careers that it may stand in the way of are obvious ones, such as a pilot or firefighter career, but it can also prevent a career as an electrician, which may come as a surprise to some.

However, it’s not so surprising when the job duties of an electrician are examined. Electricians work with color-coded wires, which they connect to circuits and fuses. When one considers that color blindness impairs a person’s ability to see colors, such as red, green, blue or a mix of these colors, it becomes more apparent why color blind electricians face difficulties. There is an inherent risk in connecting the wiring incorrectly; a wiring mistake may merely result in a tripped circuit or blown fuse, but it may also result in electrical burns or electrocution. For these reasons many employers are wary of hiring a color blind electrician. Interestingly, color blind electricians do exist but face daily difficulties on the job. They also require assistance when working with color-coded wires.

Luckily, treatment is available for those interested in a career as an electrician. The treatment for color blindness is essentially the same corrective treatment for those who are nearsighted or farsighted: contact lenses or glasses. However, these lenses or glasses are designed to filter colors so that the person wearing them can perceive colors more readily than before. A doctor specializing in the treatment of color blindness will perform a thorough exam to determine the correct type of filters; this initial exam may take several hours to complete. In addition, in the age of the smartphone there are now downloadable apps that can assist a color blind person. These apps work in conjunction with the phone’s camera to identify a color for a color blind person.

Due to advances in medicine and technology, color blind people are no longer prevented from a career as an electrician. With the proper treatment, career paths that may have been closed for those with color blindness are now open.

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