The accidents related to electricity are caused by electrocution. Electrocution can result in: minor shocks, which can cause other accidents like falls; medium shocks, which can cause burns and even severe burns and major shocks which can result in death as in some American prisons.
The injured party can be given an electric shock by coming into contact with a live wire or by the electricity from a live source arcing out - in essence finding earth through that person's body. Most electric shocks are not serious and are over before you know what has happened but they are scary afterward.
A fall ensuing from a mild electric shock probably has greater potential to be fatal than the shock itself. For example, if you were changing a light bulb from a step ladder and you reckoned that the power was off, but it was not, you might receive a short sharp shock, and it could make you to fall off the ladder and break your neck.
On the other hand, high voltage electric shocks can cause burns deep in human tissue whilst leaving only minor signs of the damage on the outside. It is very important not to be complacent about electricity, because, like the open sea, it does not suffer fools gladly. Here are a couple of electrical safety pointers to help keep you safe.
1] Always check power tools for damage and broken plugs or frayed cords before use. You might have damaged it last time you used it and got away with it that time
2] If you are working in the same area as others, especially on a building site, do not leave your leads running across the floor - attempt to tape them to a wall or a bench, because people may step on them, run wheel barrows across them or spill water on them.
3] Always use the correct gauge cable and fuse for your equipment.
4] If anything gets warm whilst you are using it, be aware that it might be a sign of an approaching difficulty. Leave hot apparatus or sockets to cool down, if it happens again, have them checked by an electrician. Do not over load electrical sockets.
5] Strive to use a dry wooden ladder if you are working near cables, because wood does not conduct electricity.
6] If you are using any apparatus that produces heat or powerful light, do not train it on anything that could catch fire.
7] Install fast-reacting circuit breakers between your equipment and the source of electricity to reduce the shock that you might get. These devices sense a faulty earth and switch the appliance off in milliseconds.
If your appliance or electrical equipment has a button for checking the earth, use it every day and if you are going to work on a light socket, an electrical socket or the fuse box, test it first with one of those electrical screwdrivers with a small bulb in it. You stick it into the circuitry and the bulb lights up, you have just had a narrow escape. Be more careful next time!
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