Electrical Accidents

 The electrical equpments shall be installed such that they not only operate satisfactorily, but safely also. Every possible step should be taken to ensure safety and prevent accidents. The electrical accidents can be avoided by:

  1. Taking necessary care while using.
  2. Electrical equipments shall confirm to relevant standards and are from reputed manufacturer.
  3. By getting them installed by qualified persons.
  4. By maintaining them properly.

Table of Contents

Causes of Electric Shock

Some of the common causes are:

  1. Mettalic part of the equipment not earthed properly.
  2. Using electrical equipment or working on electrical installation in wet condition.
  3. Using fingers towards live parts while explaining the things.
  4. Earthing rod inserted into live orifice instead of dead orifice.
  5. Slippery floor due to oil may cause falling farward of the peson and may result into contact with live parts.
  6. Weak insulation.
  7. Capacity of switch being inadequate.
  8. Use of two -pin plug socket with Electrical apparatus having mettalic body.
  9. Use of fuse on phase and neutral.
  10. Use of insulated wires of inadequate capacity.
  11. Use of fuse on neutral instead of phases.
  12. Loose connection resulting in sparking.

The severity of electric shock depends on a number of factors such as:

  1. Current passing.
  2. Duration of contact.
  3. Type of supply: DC or AC.
  4. Whether any vital organs are involved.

The current passing through the body depends upon the resistance of the body. The body resustance mainly comprises skin resistance, which varies from 100 kΩ to 500 kΩ when the body is dry and drps down to 5 kΩ or even less when body is wet. Further body resistance decreases with the increase in area and pressure of contact.

The following actions should be taken when a person gets an electric shock:

  1. Prevent anyone else ignorantally running out to rescue the victim.
  2. Cordon off the area involved.
  3. Cut off the supply in case of H.T.
  4. If voltage is 500 V or less, attempt shall be made to free the person from contact with live wire (after protecting him-self) with dry insulating material.
  5. Send for a Doctor.
  6. If the person is unconcious, observe if he is breathing normally. If not, start giving artificial respiration without any delay.

After attending to the patient, the officer incharge should submit a report of accident within 24 hours (which is obligatory under clause - 33 of I.E. rules) to the electrical inspector, district magistrate or police commissioner and to factory inspector (if accident happens in a factory).

To lessen the chances of accidents the switches and fuses shall be checked for following:

  1. That the fuse is of correct size and its not getting overheated, otherwise change it with proper size, neither less nor more.
  2. That contact jaws of all switches are cleaned and greased properly.
  3. The inlet and outlet holes in iron clad switches are properly protected by means of insulated bushes.
  4. That every single pole tumbler switch is properly connected in phase line only.
  5. That all circuits are numbered for identification.

Precautions to be Taken While Working on Electrical Installation

  1. No work shall be earrnd out on live Electrical equipments.
  2. Only Authorised person shall work on Electrical equipment.
  3. Process of effecting Shut-down shall be clear & fool proof.
  4. As far as possible repair work should be carried outin day light.
  5. Staff working on overhead lines should use proper aldders and safety belts.
  6. Work on panels shall be carried out by standing over insulating mat.
  7. Suitable gloves shall be worn while operating HT equipments.
  8. All equipments shall be treated as live unless the supply has been cut-off, tested and earthed.
  9. Test before you touch shall be taken as a rule.
  10. Never interrupt a circuit carrying heavy current except by a circuit breaker or switch meant for it.
  11. Isolator is not designed to break/interrupt a working current.
  12. Pulling out of fuse is dangerous in active circuits. It may result in flash over and there by result in burning of fingers.

Instructions for Restoration of Person Suffering from Electric Shock

  • Death Only Apparent: In many cases where persons receive electric shock, death is only apparent. With the prompt application of first aid, practically every victim can be revived.
  • Method of Resuscitation: The method of resuscitation resorted to should be that known as artificial respiration.
  • Necessity of Steady Persistent Effort: Steady persistent effort is one of the essential conditions of successful attempts to restore animation. In case of severe shock, respiration is seldom established under one hour, while three hours may be necessary to restore normal breathing. Do not stop artificial respiration until patient breathes normally or until doctor has pronounced life extinct.
  • BREAK CIRCUIT: Break the lectric circuit at once, if there be an interruptor close at hand; if not, lose no time to remove the body from contact with the live conductor.
  • Danger of Touching the Body of the Injured Person: Do not touch the man’s body with bare hands, but if rubber gloves are not at hand, pull him off the live conductor by his coat tail, if his clothes are not wet, or fold your coat or some other dry article such as newspaper into two or three thichnesses and using this as a pad, take hold of the body and put it away from the circuit; or a broom handle may be used to raise the body or to detach the wires from it. A good plan is to stand on a dry board or on a thick newspaper or bundle or sacking, or change the body with the soulder.
  • Send for Medical Man at Once: No time should be lost in sending for a qualified medical man, but in the meantime following efforts should be made to restore animation.
  • How to Place the Body: Having pulled the body away from the live conductor, treat the case as one of the drowning, as follows: The body should be placed face downwards, preferrably on a dry mattresses, on dry floor, or on dry straw, the nose and mouth being free for breathing.
  • Means of Resuscitation: Then promote artificial breathing by leaning forward over the patient and without voilence, produce a firm, steady downward pressure. Next release all pressure by swinging your body backwards without lifting your hands from the patient. Thumbs should be three inches apart and fingers spread.

    Repeat this pressure and relaxation of pressure as directed, without any marked pause between the movements, about fiftenn times a minute, until natural breathing is established. If help is available, loosen any tight clothing about the neck, chest or waist, but do not stop artificial respiration in order to do so.

    The effort to restore breathing must be carried out with perseverance, as in some cases it has been restored after a long period of apparent death. Circulation may be added by rubbing the body, or striking it with a wet towel. An assistant may strike the patient’s shoe heels with a stick some 20 times at intervals of five minutes. Keep the patient warm.

  • Use of Oxygen: Wherever it is possible to procure a cylinder of oxygen, inhalation may be attempted; but this should be done only under medical advice.
  • When the Patient Revives: Stimulants should not be administered, unless recommended by a medical man. If a doctor is not present, a teaspoon of salvolitein a small glass of water may be given, if the patient can swallow. Do not move the patient until he is breathing normally without assistance.
  • Necessity of Deliberation: It should be borne in mind that to be successful the foregoing operation should be carried out deliberately and methodically. There should be no haste, but the operation should be executed vigourously.
  • Instructing the Staff: The only way of carrying out these suggestions is to know them throughly. Members of the electrical staff should carefully instruct themselves beforehand and much good might result if they occassionally practised the method here prescribed.

Necessity for Rest:

Complete rest is essential for a day or two. Under no circumstances should a man be allowed to return to work immediately.


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