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A laborer recently died because of an electrical shock he received while using an ungrounded drill. In this case, the shock didn't kill him, but it did cause him to lose his balance and he fell from a 20 foot scaffold and hit his head on a slab of concrete.
Every year people die or are injured from electrical shocks. You can receive an electrical shock anytime part of your body comes into contact with an electrical source. If it does, you can get hurt in three ways:
- From nerve shock which could cause your lungs or heart to stop.
- From the heating effect of the current which can cause severe burns.
- From secondary injury caused from normal body reaction to the shock. If you touch something that is hot or gives you a jolt, your body may move back involuntarily. This could hurt if you are on a ladder.
If you are standing on a dry, clean, nonmetallic floor, chances are that you will have enough resistance and shouldn't get a severe shock. But you can never tell whether the work area or floor is sufficiently clean and free of conductive objects, like nails or metal scrap.
If your work surface is wet or covered with metallic objects, and if you are sweaty, your body resistance may be so low that a shock as low as 30 volts could kill you. The only effective way to minimize shocks is to keep electrical equipment in good condition so that live current is fully contained:
Some points to remember:
- Make sure, not only that the electrical equipment is grounded, but also that the electrical service is grounded.
- Don't use electrical tools that do not have a grounded plug unless they are double insulated and were not manufactured with a ground pin. .
- Don't use electrical tools while standing on or in contact with metal ladders or work platforms.
- Inspect flexible electrical cords and connections for damage before you use the equipment.
- Don't perform work on or close to energized electrical equipment unless the power is locked out and you are qualified to do this type of work.
- If you see defective electrical tools or service cords, take them out of service and report them at once.
- Be alert for the electrical hazards that others may create for themselves and you. If you see hazards, let me know about them.
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