Electricity is all around us, yet most of us do not know the basics of how it works and the damage it can cause. Electricy can kill, it can cause fires, it can cause explosions. And all this can happen within seconds. In addition to immedate dangers, improperly installed or maintained electrical boxes or appliances can be fatal months or even years later. It is therefore imperative that a certified electrician carries out all electrical work. And do not be shy about confirming the qualifications of the person performing the electrical work.

Safety Precautions

  • Make sure you know the location of overhead and underground power lines.
  • If there is digging use a cable locator to find buried wires then mark these findings clearly so all workeres are aware.
  • A certified electrician should assure that there is no power to any areas where work is being done.
  • If electrical work is being done it should only be carried out by a certified electrician, no one else should be assisting.
  • If power can not be disconnected because equipment needs to be used make sure;
    • Consult an expert as to the best way to procede.
    • All workers are aware of this.
    • Place clear notices where there are live wires.
    • All exposed wire ends should be covered with electrical tape.
    • All electrical wires should be protected from damage by equipment or by workers walking.
  • If using electrical equipment on the job check;
    • For damages to the cord itself, as well as the plug and the area where it connect into the machine. Unplug BEFORE doing this check.
    • Check for melted areas or burn marks on cords, and on machines, that suggests over heating.
    • That the electrical supply is suitable for that piece of equipment.
    • That the worker is trained to use that equipment and that they are using the required personal safety devices.
    • Do not procede if there is water in the area, or if it is raining and you are outdoors.
    • Consider using a Residual Current Device, which reduces the seriousness of personal injury from electricity. But this device should only be used as extra precaution.
    • Assure that no one is smoking, and that there are no flammable materials in the area.
    • Reduce tripping hazards by taping down any wires.

Do not procede with any work if something is not safe.

The Effects of Electrocution

  • Uncontrollable muscle spasms, perhaps to the point that they can not let go of the electrocuting object/wire.
  • Breathing problems.
  • Cardiac arrest or arhythmia (irregular heart rhythm).
  • Burns from the actual electricty at the entrance and exit points.
  • Burns from touching an object that has been made hot by electricity (thermal burn).