National Safety, Inc.
The Basics of Electrical Safety
Do you remember your last power outage? If you’re like most people than it didn’t take you long torealize how dependant you actually are on electricity. Can’t go online, can’t watch TV, can’t put in amovie, house starts getting cold, can’t cook, etc…Electricity is an integral part of our lives and one that we take for granted most of the time. We flip aswitch and the light comes on; we don’t think about it, we just flip the switch. And it is this familiaritythat can, if we aren’t careful, become dangerous.The truth is that almost 600 people each year get killed by electricity and thousands are injured, someseriously; some in ways that leave them crippled for life. Electrocutions are the fourth most commoncause of death in the workplace. Like a tiger cub that has grown up, we tend to be so “used to”electricity that we can easily forget how dangerous it can be.Understanding the nature of electricity and the potential hazards involved is crucial for a safe handlingof the power we live with daily. Electrical Safety training isn’t just for electricians.
How many milliamps does it take?
One of the most common misconceptions is that lower amounts of power aren’t that dangerous. Thetruth is that it’s more about the conditions that are present (grounding, path of current, etc…) thanabout the amount of current. As little as 0.5 milliamps can be detected by the human body and as littleas 0.05 milliamps can be fatal. Even appliances and other electrically powered equipment that is nolonger connected to a power source can be fatal. Stored electricity that has not been purged can stillpose a threat.
Understanding the terms
– “current-friendly” elements; substances that offer little or no resistance to theflow of current
– The flow or movement of electrical charge
– A conductive connection to the earth that serves to dissipate the current
– Substances that offer a high resistance to the flow of current
– Anything that impedes or opposes the flow of current
– a measurement of the force of current