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Safety Around Electricity

With special reference to EE Labs

Article 4 – PEC Code of Conduct reads:

“A member shall have utmost regard for the safety, health and
welfare of the public in the performance of his professional duties.”
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Bismillah hir Rahman nir Raheem

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful

Khawar Ayub - FAST NU - Lahore 2

Aim of the Presentation
• To create awareness among the Faculty & Staff about the
preventive measures and safe practices which must be adopted in
the EE Labs to create safety around electricity with an aim to
prevent any unforeseen accidents during conduct of lab

• Failure to participate in mandatory safety training exposes the

individuals to risk of injury. This not only impacts our ability to
conduct our mission, but it also places the University in a state of
non-compliance with various safety regulations.
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Repetition after a year (Periodically Required)
“Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit
which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex.” - Norman
Vincent Peale : author of "positive thinking"

“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the
architect of accomplishment.” -
Zig Ziglar : author, salesman, and motivational speaker

Note : There is Quiz at the end of the presentation.

• Electrical Injuries
• Classification of Exposure
• Electrical Hazards
• Electrical Hazard Control
• Electrical Hazard Control Instructions
Why is it so important to work safely with or near electricity?
• The voltage of the electricity and the available electrical current in
laboratories and offices has enough power to cause death/injury by
electrocution. Even changing a light bulb without unplugging the
lamp can be hazardous because coming in contact with the "hot",
"energized" or "live" part of the socket could kill a person.

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Electrical Injuries
• 5th leading cause of occupational
fatalities. *
• 7% of total deaths, ranked after motor
vehicle crashes, homicide, falls, and
mechanical trauma.
• Each year, electrical accidents cause as
many as thousands of electrical fires
and injuries.
*The victim is unable to voluntarily control muscles and cannot release
an electrified object. This is known as the "let go threshold" and is a
criterion for shock hazard in electrical regulations.
Classification of Exposure
High Voltage
• >600 volts: typically associated with “outdoor”
electrical transmission.
Accounts for 60% of electrocutions.
Note: some people classify >480 volts as high voltage.

Low Voltage:
• <600 volts: typically associated with “indoor”
electrical service.
Accounts for 40% of electrocutions.
Low voltage does not imply safe voltage.
Electrical Hazards - Electrical Shock
• Shock occurs when current passes through the body.
• Severity of the shock depends on:
– Path of current
– Amount and type of current
– Duration of exposure
• Electrocution is a fatal electrical injury. All materials exhibit some
resistance to electrical current.
• Materials with low resistance are called conductors (ex. copper,
aluminum, gold, water).
• Materials with high resistance are called insulators or resistors (ex.
rubber, glass, air, most plastics).
Electrical Hazards - The Effects of Shock

Immediate Long Term

• Muscle contraction • Memory Loss
• Memory Loss
• Vital organs damage(heart, lungs) • Nervous disorders
• Nervous disorders • Chemical imbalances
• Tingling - Chemical imbalances • Damage to vital organs
• Pain • Sometimes fatal
• Breathing - Sometimes fatal
• Disorientation
• Dizziness
• Death
Electrical Hazards - Effects of Current on the Body
It is the point at which
you become aware of
Painful shock
threshold is lower in

VF - Uncoordinated contraction
of the cardiac muscle
preventing it contract properly.

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Electrical Hazards - Effects of Current on the Body
The body has a natural defense system to shock (skin)
•As you can see from the calculation below, a 50 volt exposure would not cause muscles
to lock and is insufficient to cause physical harm.

Why 50 volts?
• Ohm’s Law for electric current (amps), voltage and body resistance.
•The typical body has a contact resistance of approximately 500 ohms at the point of
contact with the electrical source.
• The body has an internal resistance of approximately 100 ohms.
• There is another ac resistance or impedance to ground of approximately 5000 ohms.
- 240v / (500Ω + 100Ω + 5000Ω) = 42mA
- 50v / (500Ω + 100Ω + 5000Ω) = 8.9 mA
• It is around 10 mA that the “cannot let go” level is reached.
“The key to survival is to decrease our exposure to energized circuits.”
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Electrical Hazards - Effects of Current on the Body
• Electricity wants to find the path of least resistance to the
• Human tissues and body fluids are relatively good
conductors because of high water content.
• So if a person touches an energized bare wire or faulty
equipment while grounded, electricity will instantly pass
through the body to the ground, causing a harmful,
potentially fatal, shock.
Electrical Hazards - Grounding
• Grounding is a method of protecting students and staff from
electric shock.
• By grounding an electrical system, a low-resistance path to earth
through a ground connection is intentionally created.
• This path offers low resistance and has sufficient current-carrying
capacity to prevent the build-up of hazardous voltages.
• A three pronged cord offers a grounding connection.
Electrical Hazards - Grounding
• White wire (neutral or common wire),
returns the power.
• Black (hot wire), is connected to the
switch and fuse and carries the power.
• Green (or ground wire).
• Three wires for each cord and terminal.
• A two prong plug has a hot prong and a
return prong, no ground prong.
• Never remove the third (grounding)
prong from any three-prong piece of
equipment or use two pronged plug.

The US National Electrical Code only mandates white (or grey) for the neutral power conductor and bare copper, green, or green
with yellow stripe for the protective ground. In principle any other colors except these may be used for the power conductors.
The colors adopted as local practice. Black, red, and blue are used for 208 VAC three-phase; brown, orange and yellow are used
for 480 VAC.
Electrical Hazards - The “Ground Fault” Accident
• A ground fault accident occurs when a person touches or
grasps an electrically energized object while the feet or other
body parts are in contact with the ground or a grounded
• In some cases a ground fault accident occurs when the
opposite hand touches the ground or a grounded object.
With two hands, the bodily contact area is
twice as great as with one hand. This is an
important lesson to learn: electrical resistance
between any contacting objects diminishes
with increased contact area, all other factors
being equal. With two hands holding the pipe,
electrons have two, parallel routes through
which to flow from the pipe to the body (or
Electrical Hazards - Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupters (GFCI’s)
• GFCI’s are to be used when using electrical
equipment in a safe environment.
• GFCI’s are designed to detect any leakage of
current in an electrical circuit.
• GFCI’s turn off or “trip” the circuit whenever
the leakage is greater than 5/1000 of an
• For comparison two 60 Watt light bulbs draw
a total of 500/1000 ampere of current.
Electrical Hazards - Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupters (GFCI’s)
• Three types of GFCI’s
• A GFCI receptacle used in place of
standard receptacle.

• A portable GFCI plugs into a

standard receptacle.

• A GFCI circuit breaker combines

leakage current detection with the
function of a circuit breaker.

• Whenever working in a safe area,

or outdoors, employees should use
one of these types of GFCI’s.
GFCIs or ELCBs (Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker)
• Phase (line), Neutral and Earth wire connected through ELCB.
• ELCB is working based on Earth leakage current.
• Operating Time of ELCB:
• The safest limit of Current which Human Body can withstand is
30ma sec. 100 ma current flow through the body will kill a person in
just 2 seconds.
• Suppose Human Body Resistance is 500Ω and Voltage to ground is
230 Volt.
• The Body current will be 500/230=460mA.
• Hence ELCB must be operated in 30maSec/460mA = 0.65msec
Electrical Hazards - Electrical Burns
• Most common nonfatal electrical injury.
• Types:
– Internal: “deep tissue”.
– Skin: “entry” and “exit” points.
– Arc: “flash” burns from heat and radiant energy.
• Common sites of visible skin burns are the hands and feet.
Circuits may produce electrical burns with relatively massive
amounts of tissue destruction by heating the tissues.
• This is due to the physical property of friction from the passage
of electrons and by destruction of cell membranes by producing
holes in the membranes.
• Involuntary muscle
contractions can
“throw” workers and
cause falls.
• If working at
elevation, the fall
may cause serious
injury or death.
• Remember: Water is
VERY conductive!
Electrical Hazards - Fire
• 25% of fires are caused by electricity.
• A build-up of dust, trash and spider webs
increases the potential for fire to start in
the electrical system.
• Unprotected light bulbs in work areas are
another potential hazard. They can be
hit, broken and cause a fire.
• Electrical wiring can be hit when drilling
holes or driving nails in walls causing a
Electrical Hazards - Fire continued
• Many fires result from defects in, or misuse of the power delivery
• Wiring often fails due to faulty installation, overloading, physical
damage, aging and deterioration by chemical action, heat, moisture
and weather.
• Such wiring should be replaced and new circuits installed.
Electrical Hazards - Fire continued

• Typical Lab, home and office electrical systems run like this:
– The electrical service enters the building and connects to a main
electrical panel.
– From the main electrical panel, wires run in different directions
throughout the building to power lights, outlets, ceiling fans, air
conditioners, and various other direct-wired electrical appliances.
Electrical Hazards - Fire continued
– When electricity flows through a wire, the wire heats up because
of its resistance to the flow of electrical current.
– Both the size of the wire and how many electrical devices on the
circuit are drawing electricity affect the amount of heat
generated in the wire.
– This is why electrical fuses or circuit breakers are used in the
main electrical panel. Their function is to sense the overloading
of circuits (and short circuits) and shut off power to that branch
circuit before the wires get too hot and start a fire.
Electrical Hazards - Fire continued
– To keep the wire from getting too hot and starting a fire, circuit
wiring attempts to contain the amount of electrical load on the
branch circuit by limiting the number of potential electrical
appliances that can be running at the same time on that circuit.
– For example, only so many outlets are put on one branch circuit
or larger pieces of electrical equipment are put on circuits
dedicated to that equipment only.
– The homeowner or worker can plug in and run too many
appliances on the same circuit at one time and overload the
Electrical Hazards - Fire continued
–Each circuit must be protected by a fuse or circuit breaker
that will blow or “trip” when its safe carrying capacity is
–If a fuse blows or circuit breaker trips repeatedly while in
normal use (not overloaded), check for shorts and other
faults in the line or devices.
–Do not resume use until the trouble is fixed.
Electrical Hazards - Fire continued
• It is hazardous to overload
electrical circuits by using
extension cords and multi-plug
• Use extension cords only when
necessary and make sure they
are heavy enough for the job.
• Avoid creating an “octopus” by
inserting several plugs into a
multi-plug outlet connected to a
single wall outlet.
Electrical Hazards - Fire continued

• Dimmed lights, reduced output from heaters and poor

television/monitor pictures are all symptoms of an overloaded
• Keep the total load at any one time safely below maximum
• When using a high wattage device such as a heater, iron or power
tool, turn off all unnecessary lights and devices.
• Try to connect into a circuit with little electrical power demand.
Electrical Hazards - Fire continued

• Property damage is a
primary event resulting
from fire.
• Injuries and fatalities
may result from fire
(secondary events).
Electrical Hazard Control
• Extension cords should ONLY be used
on a temporary basis in situations
where fixed wiring is not feasible.
• DO NOT use extension cords as
permanent wiring. They may not be
able to carry the load.
• However, if it is necessary to use an
extension cord, never run it across
walkways or aisles.
– It causes a potential tripping
– It wears down the insulation.
Electrical Hazard Control continued…
• Wall receptacles should be
designed and installed so that no
current-carrying parts will be
exposed, and outlet plates
should be kept tight to eliminate
the possibility of shock.
• Replace or repair electrical
appliances that over heated,
sparked, shorted out, smoked or
have damaged cords or cracked
Electrical Hazard Control continued…
• If wires are exposed, they may cause a shock
to a worker comes into contact with them.
• Cords should not be hung on nails, run over or
wrapped around objects, knotted or twisted.
This may break the wire or insulation.
• Short circuits are usually caused by bare wires
touching due to breakdown of insulation.
• Electrical tape or any other kind of tape is not
• Cords in areas of water or other conductive
liquid must be approved for those locations.
Electrical Hazard Control continued…
• When the outer jacket of a cord is damaged, the cord may
no longer be water-resistant.
• The insulation can absorb moisture, which may then result
in a short circuit or excessive current leakage to the
• These cords should be replaced immediately.
• Electric cords should be examined on a routine basis for
fraying and exposed wiring.
Electrical Hazard Control continued…
• Electrical cords should be examined visually before use on any shift
for external defects such as:
– Fraying (worn out) and exposed wiring
– loose parts
– deformed or missing parts
– damage to outer jacket or insulation
– evidence of internal damage such as pinched or crushed outer jacket
• If any defects are found the electric cords should be removed from
service immediately.
Electrical Hazard Control continued…
• Pull the plug not the cord. Pulling the cord could break a wire,
causing a short circuit.
Electrical Hazard Control continued…
• Plug your heavy current consuming
or any other large appliances into
an outlet that is not shared with
other appliances.
• Do not tamper with fuses as this is
a potential fire hazard.
• Do not overload circuits as this
may cause the wires to heat and
ignite insulation or other
Electrical Hazard Control continued…

• Keep lab equipment properly cleaned and

• Ensure lamps are free from contact with
flammable material.
• Always use lights bulbs with the recommended
wattage for your lamp and ceiling fixtures.
• Be aware of the odor of burning plastic or wire.
Electrical Hazard Control continued…
• ALWAYS follow the manufacturer recommendations
when using or installing new lab equipment.
• Wiring installations should always be made by a
licensed electrician or other qualified person.
• All electrical lab equipment should have the label of
a testing laboratory.
Missing grounding prong!
Missing outlet cover!
Electrical tape is not a fix!
Pinched cord!
Damaged casing!
Electrical Emergencies : How to Respond
Protect yourself:
• Don't touch the person. That person might be energized, so take
time to protect yourself.
• Don't try to use a conductive tool to free the person.
• Don't touch anyone who has become grounded.
Call 1122 for help, IF the person:
• is obviously injured (loss of consciousness, significant
• trauma, etc.)
• has an altered mental status (confusion, slow/slurred speech,
• has other obvious injury (laceration, burn, etc.)
Electrical Emergencies : How to Respond
• Keep others from being harmed
• Shut off the power (fuse or circuit-breaker or pull the plug; this
might be difficult because there might be secondary sources; if
you are not sure, get help)
• Move the victim to safety only when power is OFF and no neck
or spine injuries are possible
• Give necessary first aid.
• Report accident to supervisor (even minor shocks and close calls
must be reported)
• Secure area
• Collect data for an investigation and to prevent reoccurrence.
Electrical Emergencies : How to Respond
What To Do Until Aid Arrives:
Check for:
Pulse - If person's heart has stopped, start CPR*, if you are trained.
Breathing - If person isn't breathing, begin mouth-to-mouth
resuscitation, if you are trained. *Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving
technique useful in many emergencies, including heart
Treat for shock attack or near drowning, in which someone's breathing or
heartbeat has stopped.
• Keep person lying down.

• If unconscious, put them on their side to let fluids drain.

• Don't move the person if neck or spine injuries are possible.
• Cover the person to maintain body heat
• Stay with patient until help arrives
Electrical Emergencies : How to Respond
Inform medical personnel about patient conditions, If not

• Often symptoms are delayed and the person might need medical

• All persons, who have received shocks but do not fall into the
categories above, must be taken to the University Health Center
by a co-worker or supervisor.

• Medical EVALUATION is a must.

Use Fire Extinguisher
• It's easy to remember how to use a fire extinguisher if you can remember
the acronym PASS, which stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep.
• Pull the pin. This will allow you to discharge the extinguisher.
• Aim at the base of the fire. If you aim at the flames (which is frequently
the temptation), the extinguishing agent will fly right through and do no
good. You want to hit the fuel.
• Squeeze the top handle or lever. This depresses a button that releases the
pressurized extinguishing agent in the extinguisher.
• Sweep from side to side until the fire is completely out. Start using the
extinguisher from a safe distance away, then move forward. Once the fire
is out, keep an eye on the area in case it re-ignites.
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Artificial Respiration Procedure
1. Clear victim’s mouth quickly. Tilt head back.
2. Cover victim’s mouth with your mouth.
Pinch nostrils shut and blow hard.
3. Remove your mouth allowing air to come
out. Repeat every five second.
4. If unable to get air into victim’s lungs re-tilt
head into proper position. If you suspect
foreign matter in airway, place abdominal
thrusts, clear matter from mouth, resume
artificial respiration.
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Duaa Recite Once Daily - Protection from all kinds of accidents like Fire!

“O Allah, You are my Lord, there is no

god but You, I put my trust in You,
You are the Lord of the Mighty Throne.
Whatever Allah wills will happen and
what He does not will, cannot happen.
There is no power or strength except
with Allah, the Exalted, the Mighty. I
know that Allah has power over all
things, and Allah comprehends all
things in knowledge. O Allah, I seek
refuge with You from the evil of myself
and from the evil of all creatures
under Your control. Surely the straight
way is my Sustainer’s way“.

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Electrical Safety Quiz (Specimen)
“These statistics suggest that by and large every day is a day of evaluation.” - US

1. Safety-related work practices involve:

a. The use of ground fault circuit interrupters
b. Verifying power is off before doing repairs
c. Keeping proper distance from overhead power lines
d. All of the above
2. The following is an example of work that may be performed by a person who is not an electrician:
a. Construction of an extension cord using a standard junction box
b. Removal of grounding pin from appliance cord plug
c. Use of proper extension cord to power an appliance for a short time
d. None of the above
3. Electrical current can flow through concrete
a. True
b. False
4. Which of the following are classified as unsafe acts:
a. Altering a 3-prong plug to fit a 2-prong outlet
b. Using a GFCI
c. Working too close to overhead power lines
d. A and C
e. All of the above
5. Electric cords connected to equipment may be used for raising or lowering the equipment.
a. True
b. False
Electrical Safety Quiz (Specimen)
6. Conductive articles of jewelry and clothing may be worn around exposed energized parts.
a. True
b. False
7. Extension cords must have the following:
a. Be Underwriter Laboratories (UL) listed.
b. Three prongs
c. A fuse
d. A and B
e. All of the above
8. University departments may decide whether to have alterations done by qualified personnel or to do it themselves.
a. True
d. False
9. Non-conductive head protection should be worn whenever there is a danger of head injury from electric shock.
a. True
b. False
10. Reaction to static electric shock may cause injury.
a. True
b. False


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