All electrical systems have the potential to cause harm. Electricity can be either "static" or "dynamic. Conductors are materials that allow the movement of electricity through it. Most metals are conductors. The human body is also a conductor. This document is about dynamic electricity. Note: Static electricity is accumulation of charge on surfaces as a result of contact and friction with another surface. Electric current cannot exist without an unbroken path to and from the conductor. Electricity will form a "path" or "loop".
Electrical standards and approved codes of practice - Electrical safety at work
When you plug in a device e. This is action is also known as creating or completing an electrical circuit.
People are injured when they become part of the electrical circuit. Humans are more conductive than the earth the ground we stand on which means if there is no other easy path, electricity will try to flow through our bodies. There are four main types of injuries: electrocution fatal , electric shock, burns, and falls. These injuries can happen in various ways:. Do not work close to power lines. Check with both your jurisdiction and electrical utility company when working, driving, parking, or storing materials closer than 15 m 49 feet to overhead power lines. When a loss is detected, the GFCI turns the electricity off before severe injuries or electrocution can occur.
A painful non-fatal shock may occur during the time that it takes for the GFCI to cut off the electricity so it is important to use the GFCI as an extra protective measure rather than a replacement for safe work practices. GFCI wall outlets can be installed in place of standard outlets to protect against electrocution for just that outlet, or a series of outlets in the same branch circuit. A GFCI Circuit Breaker can be installed on some circuit breaker electrical panels to protect an entire branch circuit.
Portable in-line plug-in GFCIs can be plugged into wall outlets where appliances will be used. It is important that you follow the manufacturer's instructions with respect to the use of a GFCI. Test permanently wired GFCIs monthly, and portable devices before each use. Use a GFCI tester. You may also test by pressing the "test" and "reset" buttons. If the GFCI is working properly, the light should go out. If not, have the GFCI repaired or replaced.
The Role of Electrical Maintenance in Home Safety
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These injuries can happen in various ways: Direct contact with exposed energized conductors or circuit parts. When electrical current travels through our bodies, it can interfere with the normal electrical signals between the brain and our muscles e. When the electricity arcs jumps, or "arcs" from an exposed energized conductor or circuit part e. Thermal burns including burns from heat generated by an electric arc, and flame burns from materials that catch on fire from heating or ignition by electrical currents or an electric arc flash.
Contact burns from being shocked can burn internal tissues while leaving only very small injuries on the outside of the skin. Thermal burns from the heat radiated from an electric arc flash. Ultraviolet UV and infrared IR light emitted from the arc flash can also cause damage to the eyes.
Begin An Electrician Career In Three Steps
An arc blast can include a potential pressure wave released from an arc flash. This wave can cause physical injuries, collapse your lungs, or create noise that can damage hearing. Muscle contractions, or a startle reaction, can cause a person to fall from a ladder, scaffold or aerial bucket. The fall can cause serious injuries. If you must be close to power lines, you must first call your electrical utility company and they will assist you. Call and your local utility service for help. Wait for the electrical utility to come and they will tell you when it is safe to get out of your vehicle.
Never try to rescue another person if you are not trained to do so. If you must leave the vehicle e. Never touch the vehicle or equipment and the ground at the same time.
2018 Electrical Installation Guide
Keep your feet, legs, and arms close to your body. Keep your feet together touching , and move away by shuffling your feet. Never let your feet separate or you may be shocked or electrocuted. Shuffle at least 10 metres away from your vehicle before you take a normal step. Do not enter an electrical power substation, or other marked areas. Inspect portable cord-and-plug connected equipment, extension cords, power bars, and electrical fittings for damage or wear before each use.
A practical guide for any professional who must design, install, inspect, and maintain electrical installations in accordance to IEC standards.
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From circuit breakers and busses to enclosures, panel boards, and switchboards, we offer a full range of safe, reliable solutions for low-voltage electrical distribution applications. Download the guide. A practical guide with expert advice Written by Schneider Electric's most talented electrical distribution experts, the Electrical Installation Guide is written for professionals who design, install, inspect, and maintain low-voltage electrical installations in compliance with the standards published by the International Electrotechnical Commission IEC.
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