ELECTRICAL INJURIES: THE SHOCKING TRUTH

 

Electricity, we use it every day. Avoiding electrical shocks both at home and at work requires awareness of the hazards and a respect for this often “silent killer”.

The human body has a low resistance to electricity, making it a good conductor, like most metals. Unlike metals however, the human body does not respond well when electricity passes through it.  Physical results of electrical shock include thermal burns, disruption of normal heart activity and even death. The most common and serious electrical injuries occur when electrical current flows between the hands and feet. This happens when a person touches an energised line. The electrical energy is looking for the shortest path to the ground, and it will pass through the body to the feet to reach it.

Always take necessary precautions to avoiding electrical shocks that may include:

– Use heavy duty grounded extension cords. These cords have two layers of insulation, with reinforcement between the layers. These cords are less susceptible to damage than regular household cords.

– Avoid mixing water and electricity!  While it’s important to keep cords and tools dry, it is also important to keep your hands and feet dry as well. The electrical resistance of wet skin is at least 100 times less than dry skin. Wet skin greatly increases the likelihood of severe shock if a person comes in contact with a live circuit.

– Never work on or around a live electrical circuit. Lock out the power so that you only have control over energising the machine and equipment

As always, while taking precautions to prevent injury, always first try to eliminate or isolate a hazard.

Remember, electricity strikes without warning, and the effects can be shocking- always play it safe