Electrician Safety Tips

Electrical Safety Tips

Here is a list of safety tips for working electricians. The wide variety of electrical work performed by electricians means that many tips may not be applicable to your job.

Select from the list any tips pertinent to you. This is not as comprehensive list. Please send suggestions for additions to dularson@bellsouth.net 

Replace defective extension cords promptly.
Don't even think about bypassing GFCI protection.
Handle metal studs carefully. Move slowly around metal framing members.
Do not use a trigger hold button on a power tool, ever.
Don't use borrowed tools.
Keep your back straight when lifting. Ask for help if needed.
If a fluorescent fixture is falling, do not try to catch it.
Use eye protection when ever chipping or drilling.
Don't notch ladders to cut conduit.
Make sure your work boots are non conducting type.
Keep a hand full of change handy for emergency phone calls.
Wear a long sleeved shirt when drilling metal overhead.
Follow safety rules of your company.
Keep volume on job radio down.
Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Don't wear a walkman while working.
Learn how to swim if you work near water.
Keep your tetanus shot up to date.
Learn CPR if you can not do it.
Make sure your job car is locked when unattended.
Don't use PVC glue on fire for heat to bend PVC conduit.
Participate in some racquet sport to improve grip.
When working on live circuits, remain insulated and use only one hand.
Don't siphon gas. Don't smoke near gas.
Wear eye protection when working with PVC glue overhead.
Wear a respirator in dusty environments.
Don't leave short pieces of conduit on the floor.
Limit time spent in attics when hot. Don't enter when ever over 100 degrees.
Only use front half of hacksaw blade at end of a conduit cut.
Carry beach umbrella in truck if you work in sun.
Use reverse on drill when starting a hole saw.
Try not to stand on the top of a ladder.
Change blades often on hacksaw.
Apply sun screen when working in the sun for long periods. Wear a hat.
Post someone at the feet of an extension ladder so it won't walk.
Secure ladders during transport.
On decks watch out fort oil slip hazard.
Carry a rill of toilet paper for obvious reasons.
Learn what over-the-counter pain reliever medication works for you.

From the Electrical Safety Foundation International:

 

Workplace Safety

Workplace Electrical Safety Tips

Adapt this list of reminders to your working environment. Be sure to consider company policies and local, state, and Federal codes before establishing a written electrical safety program.

Plan every job and think about what could go wrong.

Use the right tools for the job.

Use procedures, drawings, and other documents to do the job.

Isolate equipment from energy sources.

Identify the electric shock and arc flash, as well as other hazards that may be present.

Minimize hazards by guarding or establishing approach limitations.

Test every circuit and every conductor every time before you touch it.

Use personal protective equipment (PPE) as a last line of defense in case something goes wrong.

Be sure you are properly trained and qualified for the job.

Work on electrical equipment and conductors only when deenergized, unless procedures and safeguards have been established to ensure zero exposure for the worker and other people in the area.

Lockout/tagout and ground (where appropriate) before working on equipment.

Treat deenergized electrical equipment and conductors as energized until lockout/tagout, test, and ground procedures (where appropriate) are implemented.

Wear protective clothing and equipment and use insulated tools in areas where there are possible electrical hazards.

Deenergize and visibly guard (where possible) whenever contact with uninsulated overhead power lines is possible.

Check and double check safety regulations when a ladder or parts of any vehicle or mechanical equipment structure will be elevated near energized overhead power lines. Call your local electric utility for assistance. People standing on the ground may be particularly vulnerable to possible injury.

Cords, Equipment, and Tool Grounding

Make sure all equipment and extension cords bear the mark of an independent testing laboratory such as UL, CSA, ETL or MET Labs.

Protect flexible cords and cables from physical damage. Check cords for cut, broken, or cracked insulation.

Keep slack in flexible cords to prevent tension on electrical terminals.

Make sure the insulating qualities of a splice are equal to or greater than the original cord.

Extension cords are for temporary use. Install permanent wiring when use is no longer temporary.

Verify that all three-wire tools and equipment are grounded.

Water, electrical equipment, and power cords do not mix! Use GFCI protection in wet or damp environments.

Ground exposed parts of fixed equipment that could be energized.

Use non-conductive tools whenever possible.

Always double check the operation of your voltage testers by testing a live circuit.

Other Considerations

Verify location of all buried or embedded electrical circuits before digging or cutting.

Determine the reason that a fuse operated or circuit breaker tripped before replacing or resetting.

Know where your overcurrent devices are (i.e. circuit breakers and fuses) so they can be easily and quickly reached in case of emergency.

When replacing lamps and bulbs, verify that the replacement matches fixture requirements.

Electrical Safety Documents

Many organizations are committed to developing standards, regulations and guidelines that include electrical safety requirements. Employees in the workplace should familiarize themselves with these documents and the organizations responsible for their development. Some of these standards, guidelines and regulations are:

OHSA Regulations

OSHA 29 CFR 1910 , General Industry

Subpart - Electrical Standard

Subpart R - Utility Industry

1910.268 Telecommunications

1910.269 Power Generation, Transmissions and Distribution Standard

Subpart J, 1910.147 - Lockout/Tagout

Subpart K - Electrical Standard

Subpart V - Power Transmission and Distribution

OSHA 29 CFR 1926, Construction Industry

National Consensus Standards for Design and Installation

Standards on electrical products and systems, such as the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and ASTM

Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) "Color Book Series" - design of electrical power systems for industrial and commercial facilities

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70, National Electrical Code (NEC)® - provides electrical safety requirements for wiring methods used in the workplace

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), National Electrical Safety Code (NESC)- address safety criteria for live electric supply and communication lines and equiptment for employees in the workplace.

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 79, Electrical Standard for Industrial Machinery - addresses fire safety and important electrical considerations specific to industry machinery and manufacturing systems not covered in the NEC®.

ANSI Z 244 - Lockout/Tagout, Standard address the minimum requirements for lockout/target procedures of energy control sources that could cause injury or harm to employee.

National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), National Electrical Installation Standards (NEIS™)

Safe Work Practices

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E, Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101, Life Safety Code - for protecting lives and property from fire.

Guidelines

Department of Energy (DOE) - Electrical Safety Guidelines

Department of Energy (DOE) - Model Electrical Safety Program

Electrical Safety Principles

When planning and performing work on electrical systems and equipment, keep these principles in mind:

Plan every job

Think about what could go wrong

Use the right tools for the job

Use procedures, drawings and other documents as tools to do the job

Isolate the equipment from energy sources

Identify the electric shock and arc flash, as well as other hazards that may be present

Minimize the hazard by guarding or approach limitations

Test every circuit, every conductor, every time before you touch

Use personal protective equipment as a last line of defense in case something goes wrong

Ask yourself, "Do I have the skills, knowledge, tools and experience to do this work safely?"

Electrical Shock Dynamics (3 important considerations)

Path - entering the body and exiting the body

Amount of current or energy flowing in the body


60 Hz AC Current

Response

0.5 - 3 mA

start to feel the energy, tingling sensation

3 - 10 mA

experience pain, muscle contraction

10 - 40 mA

grip paralysis threshold (brain says let go; but physically cannot do so)

30 - 75 mA

respiratory systems shuts down

100 - 200 mA

experience heart fibrillation

200 - 500mA

heart clamps tight

Over 1,500 mA

tissue and organs burn

Duration of exposure - degree of injury also depends on the duration and frequency of the current. Note: "Shock" injuries can resemble an "Iceberg" where most of the injuries are internal, with only an entry and exit wound visible. Prompt attention is required by individuals specifically trained to treat electrical injuries.

Accident victims can also incur the following injuries from electrical shock:

Low-voltage contact wounds

High-voltage contact wounds frrom entry and exit of electrical current

Burns

Respiratory difficulties (the tongue may swell and obstruct the airway; or vaporized metal or heated air may have been inhaled)

Infectious complications

Injury to bone through falls, heat necrosis (death of tissue) and muscle contraction (shoulder joint injuries and fracture of bones in the neck are common injuries caused by muscle contraction).

Injury to the heart such as ventricular fibrillation, cardiac arrest or stoppage

Internal and organ injuries

Neurological (nerve) injury

Injury to the eyes (cataracts from electrical injury have occurred up to three years after the accident)

Hazard Identification and Analysis

Every electrical safety program should include a procedure for analyzing the risks and hazards associated with each job. Employees should always consider the following:

Environment

wet or dry

indoors or outdoors

open or cramped

well lit or dim

metal ladders in area where overhead wires or exposed conductors are present

electrical cords over a heat source

overloaded electrical outlets


Condition of Equipment

age of equipment

integrity of grounding system

internal safety mechanisms

operating voltage

electrical wiring and loads incurred

fault current available to produce arc flash


Electrical Safety Work Practices

ensure that operating procedures are up to date and appropriate for conditions

evaluate circuit information drawings

determine degree and extent of hazards

comply with minimum clearances when working around electrical power lines or other exposed conductors

determine approach boundaries:

flash protection boundary - linear distance to prevent injury from a potential arc-flash

limited approach boundary - restricted distance for "unqualified" persons

restricted approach boundary - restricted distance for "qualified" persons

prohibited approach boundary - PPE for direct contact with live parts - flashover distance

determine "flash protection boundary" requirements from approach boundaries table (NFPA 70E)

determine appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) based on potential hazards present

always wear safety glasses and a hard hat when working on live circuits

use electrically insulated tools

use electrically insulated gloves

test dates for integrity of equipment and protective clothing - independent safety lab

wear required personal protective clothing (i.e., long sleeve shirt and long pants)- flame resistant materials for clothing (different weights for protection dependent on fault levels and clearing times)

your hands are your most valuable tools. Protect them by wearing appropriate safety gloves. Before using, inspect the gloves for signs of wear and tear and other damage.

evaluate personnel qualifications

use ladders with nonconductive siderails if there is any possibility the ladder could contact exposed energized parts

follow lock-out/tag-out procedures

use power tools that are double-insulated or that have ground-fault circuit interrupters protecting the circuit

inspect all extension cords for wear and tear and make sure they are listed by a third-party testing laboratory

never drape electrical cords over heat sources

never store flammable liquids near electrical equipment, even temporarily

be aware of special training requirements

motors with thermal protection can restart without warning, always lockout the motor before working on it.

only qualified personnel should perform maintenance, inspection and repairs on any electrical equipment.

do not use tin stranded wire with solder - this promotes corrosion and limits contact area.

if measuring voltage with respect to ground, make the ground connection first and remove it last.

plugs and connectors should be wired with additional slack. In the event of undue strain on the cord, the grounding will be the last broken.

grounding continuity should be checked on new tools and equipment before being put into service.

remove paint from mating surfaces or use a locknut or set screw to penetrate the paint and make a metal-to-metal contact.

don't overbend cables when pulling them through a bend in a raceway, often a pressure or squeezing develops causing insulation damage.

Electrical Hazard Mitigation - Prevention

Reducing and eliminating exposure to electrical hazards requires constant attention. Safety is everyone's responsibility - employers and employees. A safe electrical environment makes good personal as well as business sense.

Physical barriers (around energy source) such as fences and insulators on conductors

Keep work areas clean and dry. Cluttered work areas and benches invite accidents and injuries.

Management barriers - policy documents

Who is responsible for electrical safety at the site?

How is electrical safety dealt with at the site?

How are people trained?

What are the qualifications for people working on and around electrical equipment?

Administrative barriers (driven by management)2Implementation of policy documents

site and task specific

recognizing the hazards

guidelines on how to deal with electrical hazards.

Shock Rescue Procedures

In response to an electrical accident, follow these procedures immediately:

Call for help (can't be handled by one person) and follow the emergency response system as set forth in the safety procedures of each organization.

Get the approved first-aid supplies (these should be easily accessible when required).

Deenergize the circuit.

Separate the person from the energy source.

Make sure you and the victim are in a safe zone - not in contact with any electrical source, away from downed or broken wires.

Never grab the person or pull the person off the current with your hands; you might become part of the circuit and become injured as well.

Use a dry wood broom, leather belt, plastic rope or something similar that is non-conductive such as wood or plastic cane with hook on the end to free the person from the energy source

Administer first aid2apply mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and/or CPR; know what to do

Keep the victim lying down, warm and comfortable to maintain body heat until help arrives. Do not move the person in case of injury to neck or back.

If the victim is unconscious, put him/her on side to let fluids drain.

Make sure the victim receives professional medical attention (person shocked could have heart failure hours later)

Burn victim first-aid steps:

If the person's clothing is on fire, roll the person on the ground to smother the flames.

Cool the burn with water or saline for a few minutes or until the skin returns to normal temperature. Do not attempt to remove clothing that is stuck to a burn.

Remove constricting items from the victim, such as shoes, belts, jewelry and tight collars. They could continue to burn or cut off circulation if the victim experiences swelling.

Check the victim's breathing and heartbeat. Apply mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and/or CPR if necessary.

Keep victim warm and comfortable by covering him/her with clean, dry sheets or blankets.

Cover wounds with clean sheets and dry blankets.

Elevate burned areas to reduce swelling.

Lightning Strikes

In the U.S., it is estimated that 93 people die each year as a result of being struck by lightning. This represents more deaths than most other natural disasters, such as hurricanes or tornadoes.

Some statistics to be aware of:

one lightning strike can injure or kill one or more people

outdoor workers face a high risk of suffering a fatal lightning strike

30% of those struck by lightning will die; 74% who survive will have permanent disabilities

death from a lightning strike usually occurs within one hour of injury

most lightning strikes occur outdoors between May and September.

Recommendations from the Center for Disease Control

monitor weather forecasts during the thunderstorm season

remind employees that lightning is present in all thunderstorms

lightning often precedes rain and can strike as far as 10 miles away from the rain of a thunderstorm

seek shelter immediately when thunder is heard - avoid trees or tall objects, high ground, water, open spaces and metal objects such as tools, fences and umbrellas

remaining inside a vehicle is safe because rubber tires are nonconductive

when indoors, shut off appliances and electronic devices and avoid using the telephone.

inspect the grounding electrode system for loose or corroded connections, which can increase the impedance of a lightning dissipation path.

provide surge protection at the main service panelboard to prevent line surges from traveling to equipment.

Preventive Electrical Maintenance

An important way to reduce electrical shock accidents is to institute and follow established procedures for preventive maintenance. This is the responsibility of the employer, employee and owner - establishing a close working relationship to reduce and eliminate electrical accidents.

Inspect work area for electrical hazards daily, such as:

flickering lights

warm switches or receptacles

burning odors

loose connections

frayed, cracked or broken wires

Never ignore electrical problems.

Choose proper cords and connectors for the job.

Make sure any portable cord used to power any type of light and/or heavy-duty industrial equipment is suitable for the equipment - not only gauge size but also flexibility, strength and ability to withstand any chemicals that may be present.

All testing equipment should be properly calibrated.

Make sure the extension cord thickness is at least as big as the electrical cord for the tool.

Read and follow all equipment operating instructions for proper use.

Leave equipment repairs and adjustment to authorized personnel.

Sticking switches on electrical saws should be replaced at once. After the switch is released, always maintain control of the saw until the blade has stopped.

Never operate an electric saw while wearing loose clothing such as an unbuttoned jacket or long, floppy sleeves.

Follow required lock-out/tag-out procedures.

Turn off equipment when finished with job.

Disconnect energy sources.

Tag out the disconnected power.

Release stored energy to make sure no power is getting to the equipment.

Always clean up spills on the floors.

When portable cords are made up, take special care to make certain that the circuit and grounding conductors are not interchanged.

Keep work areas clean and dry. Cluttered work areas and benches invite accidents and injuries.

Good housekeeping and a well-planned layout of temporary wiring will reduce the dangers of fire and shock hazard.

  An interesting article SOURCE:

Christopher D. Wyckoff, Glen H. Hetzel
Virginia Cooperative Extension

Table of Contents

Introduction

What Can You Do?

Fuses and Circut Breakers

Grounding

GFCI's

Polarization

What Else Can You Do?

Sizing Eletrical Wires

What About the Special Risks to Farmers?

What to Do In Case of An Accident

Introduction

"Shocking Statistics"

There are approximately 290 accidental electrocutions each year.

An additional 800 people die in fires caused by faulty electrical systems every year.

Thousands are shocked and burned as the result of accidental contact with electricity every year.

An estimated $1.2 billion in property damage occurs each year due to faulty use of electricity.

Electricity, or electric current, is the flow of electrons from one atom to another in any material. Materials that allow electricity to flow easily are called conductors. Most metals, such as copper and aluminum, make good conductors of electricity. Insulators are materials that do not allow electricity to flow through them. Good examples of insulators are glass, plastic, and rubber. Unfortunately, our bodies can allow current to pass through them, causing anywhere from a mild tingling sensation to cardiac arrest and burning.

There are many ways in which electrical accidents happen. Hazards result from the degradation of electrical wire insulation due to rodents, weathering, or normal wear, improper wiring, improper wire size or type, and corrosion of electrical connections, for example. In addition to these normal hazards, agricultural workers are particularly subject to the hazards of electricity because tall equipment, such as grain augers, combines, and raised dump truck beds can become entangled in overhead power lines. Accidents have also occurred with overhead power lines when moving irrigation pipe. Agricultural buildings are subject to dusty, moist and corrosive environments, making them especially troublesome when using electricity. Electricity was the seventh largest cause of deaths on farms in 1988, and causes unknown amounts of property and livestock loss every year. Fortunately, there are several devices and methods that can be employed to protect yourself, your animals, and your property.

Return to Table of Contents

 

What Can You Do?

There are four kinds of electrical safety devices and features that you should be aware of. These are fuses and circuit breakers, GFCI's, grounding, and polarization.

 

Fuses and Circuit Breakers

The most common form of electrical protection is the fuse or circuit breaker. These are devices that are designed to protect the electrical system from too much current. These devices, when used properly, work well to protect equipment and prevent electrical fires due to overloads on the electrical system. They do not, however, protect an individual from electrical shock. Fifteen amps, which is typically the smallest size breaker found in a normal household, is 250 times greater than is required to cause cardiac arrest in an individual.

Fuses and circuit breakers have a numbered rating system which indicates the maximum amount of current that they will allow through. The fuses and circuit breakers are matched to the size of the electrical wires used in the system. Thus, fuses should always be replaced with a new fuse of the same rating. A higher rated fuse will not offer any protection if the system was to draw too much electricity and could result in an electrical fire or damage to your equipment. A smaller rated fuse will cause the circuit to blow the fuse more frequently, leading to your aggravation and the temptation to bypass the system. If absolutely necessary, use a smaller rated fuse for temporary power, but never a larger one.

Return to Table of Contents

 

Grounding

 Another important safety feature is "grounding." Grounding occurs when a ground wire is connected from ground potential to the frame of an electrical device. Grounding is not necessary for a circuit to work, it is only there for the protection of individuals from stray current. In a normal circuit, electricity flows from the "hot" wire (which is usually black) to the electrical device and back to ground potential through the neutral wire (which is usually white or gray). A ground wire (which is usually bare or green) is provided so there can be an alternate path for the electricity to flow back to ground potential if an electrical short occurs. For example, if the wires inside an electrical device have become worn or the insulation broken down such that the hot wire makes contact with the case on the device, then the current could possibly flow through the individual using the device back to ground. If a ground wire is present, however, the current will take the path of least resistance and flow through the ground wire back to ground instead of flowing through the individual causing an electrical shock.

Never destroy or cut off the round grounding prong on a plug to fit it into a socket or extension cord that does not accommodate the prong. If the equipment you are working with does not have a ground wire, then consider rewiring the device to accommodate the grounding feature. Another option is to use double insulated tools. These tools have an air space around the device to help insulate you from an electrical shock.

Return to Table of Contents

 

GFCI's

 Another protective device that can be used is called a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, commonly referred to as a GFI or GFCI. This device is meant to protect human beings from electrical shocks due to faulty electrical equipment. A GFCI works by monitoring the current flow to an electrical device and comparing it to the amount of current flowing back. If there is a difference between these two values, this means that some electricity is flowing back to ground through a path other than the wire. This is called a "ground fault" and when the GFCI detects this, it stops current flow altogether in the circuit. Consider the previous example in which the wires inside an electrical device have become worn or damaged so that the hot wire makes contact with the casing. If a person were to use the tool, then electricity could possibly flow through the individual back to ground. When a GFCI detects this situation, it stops current flow before harmful amounts of electricity flow through the individual. Electricity will flow through an individual easier if the person is working in wet or damp conditions, which is why it is recommended that GFCI's be installed in all bathrooms, kitchens laundry rooms, garages, and other buildings where moisture can be a problem. The protection from grounding and from a GFCI are similar. However, if your equipment does not have a ground wire, then a GFCI is your only form of protection from faulty equipment. GFCI's also offer protection if the grounding mechanisms are faulty.

There are three different types of GFCI's available. The most common type is the GFCI breaker. These are used instead of conventional breakers to protect everything on the circuit. There are also GFCI outlets that can easily replace conventional outlets. These will offer protection for everything plugged into them. There are also portable types that can be plugged into any outlet. The device you want to use is then plugged into theGFCI. All GFCI's are equipped with test buttons which intentionally cause a ground fault to insure the device is working properly. It is recommended that all GFCI's be tested every month.

Return to Table of Contents

 

Polarization

Polarization refers to the plugs and outlets that have two different sized prongs or slots. The idea behind polarization is to ensure that the hot wire travels through the switch on the device before it encounters the load or resistance. This helps ensure there are no "live" wires that are exposed unless the switch is turned on and current is traveling through the entire circuit. Consider, for example, a lamp; without polarization, the hot wire could be traveling through the socket and then to the switch. If someone was to then touch the socket, they could be shocked. Polarization ensures that the hot wire travels through the switch first, protecting you from accidental contact with an energized socket.

Even with all of these protective devices in place, you can still get shocked if you accidentally touch both the hot and neutral wires of a live circuit. This is different from a ground fault because during a ground fault only some of the current in the circuit will flow through you to ground. If you touch both hot and neutral wires then all of the current in the system will flow through you and your body will act as a normal electrical device. Therefore, there are additional precautions you need to take to prevent accidental death and injury.

 

Return to Table of Contents

 

What Else Can You Do?

  1. Install and use the electrical safety devices that are available.

  2. Treat every electrical wire as a"hot" wire.

  3. Check the condition of all power cords and devices and repair or replace as necessary.

  4. Make sure power is disconnected before working on any electrical device.

  5. If a "hot" circuit must be worked on, call a qualified electrician.

  6. Use double insulated tools, which put an additional barrier between you and electricity.

  7. Make sure that any wiring you do meets the suggestions from the National Electric Code, which are contained in most books on electricity.

Return to Table of Contents

 

Sizing Electrical Wires

The size of wire chosen, usually expressed in the American Wire Gauge number, for electrical circuits is determined by the electrical load. The larger the wire size number, the smaller the wire and therefore, the smaller the electrical load that can be operated through that circuit. The distance the electricity has to travel also makes a difference. You can not simply take a 12 gauge 100 ft. extension cord and expect to run a 1 hp motor efficiently. Improper wiring can result in decreased efficiency and heat build up in the wire, which in turn can result in a fire. Proper wiring is accomplished by looking at charts, which will yield you the proper gauge wire for a given load and a given distance for a 120 Volt AC circuit. Charts can be found in most books on electricity.

Return to Table of Contents

 

What About the Special Risks to Farmers?

Entanglement with overhead power lines is a special problem on farms. There are several things you can do to protect yourself from entanglement with overhead power lines. The best option is to bury all electrical wires underground. This will eliminate the possibility of entanglement, but caution will be needed when digging. Always check with your electric company or call "Miss Utility" before digging to determine if there are any underground utility lines in the area. Another thing you can do is to ensure that all augers, dump truck beds, etc., are lowered before moving them. This simple procedure will prevent most accidental entanglements. Another thing you need to be careful of is bumping into the guide wires on electrical poles. This will cause sagging in the overhead lines and will make entanglement more likely. Always stay alert and never take unnecessary risks.

Another special problem with electricity on the farm is the dusty, moist and corrosive environments of most livestock houses. There are waterproof, dustproof, and even explosion proof electrical boxes, outlets, and motors available for use in the uniquely troublesome environments of livestock facilities. These materials ensure safe and reliable use of electricity throughout your farm.

Return to Table of Contents

 

What to do in Case of an Accident

So far we have focused on ways to prevent electrical accidents and misuse. If an accident still occurs, then certain steps should be taken.

 

If a fire starts as the result of improper wire size, lack of overcurrent protection (fuses), or degradation of insulating materials, then only use fire extinguishers that are recommended for electrical fires. Fire extinguishers rated for use on electrical fires will be labeled as a C, BC, or ABC extinguisher.

If someone is being shocked by electricity, then disconnect the power source by turning off the circuit breaker only. Never try to unplug the cord, move an energized line with any object, or grab the person yourself to free them. Once free, CPR should be administered to resuscitate the individual if necessary.

If entanglement occurs with overhead power lines while in machinery, never try to leave the machinery. Wait until help arrives because the machine itself can be energized, acting as a path for the electricity to ground, and if you try to leave the machine then you can also become a path to ground. If it is absolutely necessary to leave the potentially energized machine, as in the case of a fire, then jump free of the machine with both feet at one time. Do not try to climb out of the machine as you would normally.

Return to Table of Contents

 


Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More

NASD Review: 04/2002

October, 1996

 

 

 

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