Electrical Injuries Safety Talk
The hazards associated with electricity affect the majority of workplaces. Whether you are in general industry, construction, or even farming, electrical hazards are present. It is important to be able to recognize the electrical hazards around you.
Electrical-Related Injuries and Fatalities
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, there were 166 fatal electrical injuries in 2019. There were a total of 1,900 electrical injuries that required days away from work in 2019.
The construction industry experiences the majority of injuries and fatalities. These statistics do not include injuries caused by secondary events. For example, an individual falling from a ladder and sustaining injuries due to getting shocked. If these types of injuries were included, the statistics would be higher. Every day individuals suffer some type of shock but do not seek or require treatment for their injuries. Because of this, it is difficult to fully track the occurrence of electrical shock in the workplace.
Common Electrical Hazards
- Energized overhead powerlines
- Faulty equipment
- Working on energized equipment
- Improper grounding
- Damaged insulation
Electrical shock occurs when a person becomes part of an electrical circuit, and the current passes through their body. A person becomes part of a circuit when they are in contact with an electrical current and a ground or an electrical current and another electrical current with a different voltage. Three primary factors affect the severity of the shock a person receives when he or she is a part of an electrical circuit:
1. Amount of current flowing through the body (measured in amperes).
2. Path of the current through the body.
3. Length of time the body is in the circuit.
There are also secondary factors, such as the presence of moisture, the state of the heart of the individual, and the state of health of the individual, that can affect the severity of the shock.
There are many ways to be injured or killed by electricity both at home and on the job. This talk only discussed injury statistics, common electrical hazards, and how electrical shock occurs. It is important to understand how to mitigate electrical hazards. Discuss the electrical hazards and the mitigation actions for these hazards in your workplace with your supervisor or health and safety manager.
-What are some electrical hazards present on site?
-What are ways we can protect ourselves from electrical-related injuries?
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