The importance of working safely with electricity

Electric voltage and electric current present in regular businesses and homes have enough power to cause death by electrocution. You might be surprised to learn that even changing a bulb on a lamp that is still plugged into the mains can be hazardous!

What kind of injury can you get from electrical current?

People get hurt when they become a link in the chain of the electrical circuit. Human bodies are more conductive than the ground, which means if electricity can find no other route, it will try to flow through our bodies.

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Here are the main injuries that be caused by electricity: fatal electrocution, electrical burns, shock, and electric shock related falls. There are a variety of ways in which such injuries can happen:

  • Contact with exposed parts of a circuit or conductors. When electric current moves throughout the body, it can disrupt the regular electrical signals passing between muscles and the brain (for example, the heart may stop beating properly and breathing may stop).
  • When the electric jumps from an exposed energy conductor or circuit parts (eg, overhead power lines) through a gas (such as air) to a grounded person.
  • Burns from thermal energy such as heat generated from electricity arcing or from fire as materials catch fire from ignition by electric current or arc flashing. Burns can also occur from contact from electric shocks can burn internally even though they leave only a very small wound on the outside of the skin.
  • Thermal burns from radiated heat from the arc of an electric flash. Ultraviolet and infrared light can be emitted from and cause damage to the eyes.
  • Arc blast can include a potential release of a pressure wave. These waves can cause physical injury, collapsed lungs, or make noises that can even damage hearing.
  • Humans can experience muscle contractions from a startle reaction, which can lead to further injuries as a result of falling from a ladder or scaffolding, for example.

What are some general safety tips for working with or near electricity?

Ensure that any portable equipment has cables that are well connected, including items like extension cords, power strips, and any electrical fittings. They should be regularly checked for signs of wear and tear or damage before use. Get rid of any equipment that is requires replacing and do not use equipment needing repair until it is fixed by a qualified electrician.

Always use the services of a qualified electrician and don’t attempt to fix electrical problems yourself. For more information about an Electrician Essex, visit a site like Electrician Essex SM Electrical

Be sure to fix extension cords to walls or floors when needed, for example with tape. Avoid the use of staple guns or nails, as these can cause damage to the extension cord with the potential to cause a fire or electric shock.

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Use a power strip or equipment rated for the level of amperes or watts you use.

Ensure you are using the right size fuse. Using a fuse that is too big can lead to excessive current in the wiring and possibly start a fire.

Be on the lookout for any cables or outlets that feel too warm or hot as this could indicate an unsafe wiring set-up. Unplug any cable or extension cord from the outlet and do not use until an electrician has checked the cable.

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