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

SAFETY: IT’S IN YOUR HANDS

Could you imagine life without your hands or fingers? When it comes to earning a living, our hands are most often the most important tool we have. With healthy hands, we can also do many routine things such as buttoning a shirt, picking up a fork, holding a pencil, turning on the radio or sending out a text message. Just think how life would be if you were no longer able to do those simple tasks.

Common injuries to hands and fingers can include:

Fractures and Lacerations, when hands are caught between unguarded equipment or as a result of a fall

Burns from hot or cold material, steam, chemicals when not wearing the right gloves or not wearing them at all

Cuts when working around and handling sharp materials, tool use and of course knives

Contusion and/or Fractures when handling heavy objects and pinch points

YOU can prevent hand and finger injuries by following these points:- Use the right glove type for the task you are performing, ensuring the glove provides the right fit and protection for the task you are performing

– Be aware of pinch points

– Keep your hands clean to prevent infection

– Many accidents causing hand and finger injuries happen during a moment of distraction. YOU can prevent all injuries with YOUR safe attitude

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

Don’t risk life without your hands or fingers… safety is in your hands!