Safety – Electrical

Unseen Risks and Electricity Danger

The hazard of electricity is well known. It is, however, not generally appreciated that a low voltage shock of only 240 volts can, under certain circumstances, be enough to kill. Many people have received an electrical shock by unwillingly becoming part of an electrical circuit. However, the severity of injury that could occur depends on exactly where in the body the electrical current flows and for how long.

How does an electrical current affect the body?

  • Breathing could stop – the nervous system becomes temporarily paralyzed.
  • Heart beating is interrupted – blood stops circulating through the body.
  • Damage to nerves and muscles – internal bleeding and burns.

Injuries can also occur due to a number of factors

  • BURNS due to arcing/electrical fires.
  • FALLS due to a loss of balance after touching electrical equipment.
  • CUTS OR MECHANICAL INJURY due to machinery starting unexpectedly.

Relevant legislation imposes many restrictions on employers in order to protect staff from the danger of electricity. As a reminder, there are a few golden rules that need to be followed in order to safeguard both yourself and others:

  • Never assume a circuit is dead. Always test before carrying out work.
  • Working on live equipment is forbidden.
  • Safety equipment/PPE should be used and/or worn.
  • Physically “lock off” equipment that can be inadvertently reconnected.
  • Check cables and equipment.
  • Ensure earthing/earth loading is adequate.
  • Report/action faults and problems.

Ameri-Force is dedicated to employee safety and regulatory compliance. Through OSHA compliant health and safety programs, training, and consulting services, Ameri-Force creates safer work environments. Our national networks of qualified safety consultants study work environments to ensure their compliance with federal, state and local regulations. We identify sources of non-compliance and potential hazards, and suggest control strategies.

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