Electricity is the most common
form of energy used in homes, offices, manufacturing and construction
industrials. Its benefits to these consumers as convenient source of lighting,
heating and power are obvious. However, through misuse and handling, it can
cause harm, if it passes through a human body, by producing electrical shock or
burns. It also costs the industries dearly in terms of losses in production time
and damages to properties.
to the Ministry of Manpower statistics, the common causes of such electrical
accidents generally falls under the following categories:
ð Ignorance or negligence resulting in incorrectly connected wire or other mistakes
or lack of earthing;
damage to electrical wiring and equipment;
of maintenance and checks;
and unsafe operating procedures; and
repairs by unauthorized or incompetent persons.
Effects of electric current from an electric shock
Barely perceptible, no harmful effects
5mA – 10mA Throw off, painful sensation
10mA – 15mA Muscular contraction, can’t let go!
20mA – 30mA Impaired breathing
50mA and above Ventricular fibrillation and death
possibility that one can receive and electric shock is that he places parts of
his body in series with a live circuit. Passages of an electric current
especially with ac through human body can result in the following types of
severe and sometimes fatal injuries:
cramp resulting in difficulty and stoppage of breathing;
contact burns caused by the passage of current through the body resulting in
damage to under-lying tissues;
muscle spasm throwing the casualty with some force away from point of contact
resulting in injuries due to fall; and
ð Quivering of the heart muscle which can cause the heart to stop completely resulting death.