What Can You Do To Help Protect Yourself?
|Know about electricity and how it can
harm you and your colleagues.
||Basics of Electricity:
- Electrical current will not flow unless
it has a complete path (circuit) that returns to its source (battery, transformer).
- Current flows through you and other
conductors, such as metals, earth and concrete.
- Current can harm you when it flows
through your body (electric shock).
- Insulators resist the flow of
electricity. Insulating materials are used to coat copper conducting wires and are
used to make electrical work gloves. Insulators help to protect humans from coming
into contact with electricity flowing through conductors.
- Just as there is pressure in a water
pipe, even with no water flowing, there is voltage at a receptacle, even if current is not
flowing. Another word for voltage is "Potential."
How Electricity Can Harm You
passing through your body can cause electric shock, resulting in 3 types of potential
(arcs burn with heat & radiation)
Physical injuries (broken bones, falls, & muscle damage)
Nervous system effects (stop breathing at 30 to 75 mA alternating
current at 60Hz, fibrillation at 75 to 100 mA at 60Hz)
= heart is "twitching" and there is no blood flow to the body.
The heart can
be damaged because it is in the path of the most common routes electricity will take
through the body:
|Know about static electricity and how it
can do harm.
||Minimize your exposure to static shocks.
clean the glass face of your computer monitor while the computer is on.
operation, the glass surface of a monitor's CRT accumulates an electrostatic charge.
When you touch the screen with a finger, the charge is from the portion of the
screen you touched and it discharges through your finger with a tiny spark. Electric
current does not normally flow through glass, so only the part of the screen that your
finger touches is discharged.
when you clean a monitor the entire glass is wet and the charge on the entire screen will
discharge to your finger or hand, causing a much more painful shock.
can be injured by the reaction to the shock even though such shocks in themselves are not
|Use OSHA Safe Work practices.
||Control hazards though safe work
your work and plan for safety
wet working conditions and other dangers
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters. GFCI's are electrical devices that are designed
to detect ground faults (when current is "leaking" somewhere outside its
intended pathway). If your body provides the path to ground for the leaking current,
you could receive a shock or be electrocuted. GFCI's should be used in all wet locations
and on outside outlets.
overhead power lines: Position yourself so that the longest conductive
object you are using (saws, poles, tools, brooms, etc.) cannot come closer than at least
10 feet to any unguarded, energized overhead line.
proper wiring and connectors
extension cords properly and temporarily:
must be UL listed and have 3 prongs
bars must have a fuse or breaker
not use 2-prong, ungrounded cords in a lab
not run cords through walls, doors, under rugs, or across aisles
not repair cords--buy new ones
sure the total number of watts connected to the cord does not exceed the rating of the
and maintain tools properly
wearing items such as jewelry, watch bands, bracelets, rings, key chains, necklaces, etc.
that might come into contact with exposed, energized parts.
hats rated "Class E"
footwear coded "EH"
|Follow the Administrative Controls
warning of electrical hazards
|Use safe equipment
not use equipment that has been damaged or improperly modified.
use equipment according to the manufacturer's specifications.
parts (greater than 50 volts) must be guarded by one or more of the following:
enclosure that requires a tool for access.
interlocked access door.
substantial insulating guard to prevent contact.
completely free of damage and deterioration.
always have an appropriate strain relief device where they enter the enclosure.
Check out OSU EHS's online Information
Library for additional information.
Why Worry About Electricity?
Common Causes of Accidents
How You Can Protect Yourself
Codes and Regulations