A Study Note on Electrical Safety and Risk Management

A Study Note on Electrical Safety and Risk Management

A Study Note on Electrical Safety and Risk Management

No one can replace a worker or a loved one that has died or suffered the consequences of an electrical accident. Electrical Safety in the workplace hazards conditions

Electrical Safety is a Serious Issue No one can replace a worker or a loved one that has died or suffered the consequences of an electrical accident. Electrical Safety in the workplace is the most important job of an electrical worker. No matter how much training one has received or how much employers try to safeguard their workers, Electrical Safety is ultimately the responsibility of the person himself working on electrical lines and equipment. It has long been recognized that electrical accidents do not just happen but are caused due to the non-observance of certain fundamental safety measures as contained in the I.E. Act, 1910 and I.E. Rules 1956, made thereunder. A study of electrical accidents shows that, In general by and large, accidents at consumer's premises are due to the following reasons:
  • Amateur workmanship & repairs
  • Defective wiring
  • The lack of proper maintenance
  • Use of non-standard & shoddy appliances
  • Ignorance about fundamentals of electricity
Hazard means anything which can cause harm and Risk mean the chance, great or small, that someone will actually be harmed by the hazard. The main hazards are contacted with live parts causing shock and burns. faults which could cause fires; fire or explosion where electricity could be the source of ignition in a potentially flammable or explosive atmosphere. The absence of accidents does not necessarily mean there are no hazards. A risk management process must be adopted and repeated at regular intervals. Hazard identification is not a one-time exercise. Hazards grow with time and with the change in the process. As time goes by, statutes as well as technological change. To comply with updated statutory regulations, periodic compliance assessments are needed. Hence, hazard identification has to be done periodically.
The following hazards are within the use of Electricity:
  • Electrical shock- Joules Burns
  • Burns- Flashover burns
  • Fire & Explosion- Spark
Static Electricity
B. Secondary Hazards (Involuntary reflex action)
  • Persons falling from height
  • Dropping of tools and object
(a) Electric shock is sudden and accidental stimulation of the body’s nervous system by electric current. Current will flow due to the voltage difference.
Shock occurs when the body becomes part of the electric circuit. The current must enter the body at one point and live at another. Shock may occur in one of three ways.
  • With both wires of the electric circuits
  • With one wire of an energized circuit and the ground.
  • With a metallic part that has become hot by itself-being in contact with an energized wire.
The severity of the shock depends on following factors,
  • The rate of flow of current throw the body measured in amperes
  • The path of the current throw the body.
  • The length of time the body is in the circuit.
Other factors which may affect the degree of shock are the frequency of the current, phase of the heart cycle when the shock occurs and the physical and psychological condition of the person.

(d) Joule burns: The passage of an electric current along any conductor is accompanied by the dissipation of it according to Joule’s Law the heat dissipated is directly proportional to I2 RT where I am current in ampere; R the resistance in ohms and T the time in second. As the skin is the site of the highest resistance in the body it is here that burning is most likely to occur when contact is made with a live conductor. Such burns may be deeper than may first appear on the clinical examination. Consequently, healing is often slow and may be accompanied by much scarring.

Flash burns: If an earthed conductor is brought close to a both another conductor at a high voltage, the insulation of the air between team may break down giving rise to a spark. This ionizes the air considerably lowering its distance which in turn allows the current to increase an electric arc is set up. If the earthed conductor is a human being too close to a high voltage line, he will be burnt by the arc without actually coming into contact with the conductor. Because of the reduced electrical resistance of the air and the large area of the skin burning (which reduces the skin resistance) large currents may flow. Thus the victim is the subject of a double event a flame burn from the arc and an electric shock from the current which passes.

These burns are often made worse as a result as the result of clothing catching fire. Because flash burn accidents are usually associated with high voltages, the currents which flow are often too great to cause ventricular fibrillation. Also, because the victim does not usually touch the conductor he is practically never “held on” but falls away from the conductor, thus extinguishing the arc. The current therefore usually passes through the victim for only a brief time. Secondary effect: Many after effects of electric shock have been reported but these reports often describe isolated cases of a disease following a shock and there is no real evidence of a causal relationship. However, several sequels are well substantiated.

Angina electrical may follow a shock in a relatively young person and is clinically indistinguishable from angina pectoris. It nearly clears up within a few weeks or months leaving no after effects. Electrical cataract is a permanent condition which may insure after certain types of electric shock, usually severe and passing through the head. Chromoproteins sometime leading to severe disturbance of renal function may follow a severe electric shock which has caused strong muscular contraction with the release of myoglobin. It is analogous in all respects to circulation from damaged muscles.
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