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Electrical Safety

What is Electricity?
Electricity is the movement of
electrons.
Fundamental quantities include:
Volts
Current
Resistance

Basic Electrical Theory


Voltage [driving force] causes current [e - ] to
flow
AC / DC - from safety perspective - negligible difference

Single Phase / Three Phase.


professional

3 get a

Circuit / loop is necessary for current to flow


a start point - a route - an end point
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Voltage, Current and


Resistance

Voltage increases => Current increases


Resistance decreases =>
Current increases
Voltage = Current / Resistance -

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Ohms Law

The complete circuit


A complete Circuit or loop is

necessary for current to flow

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A complete circuit
complete Circuit or loop
is necessary for current to flow

Current takes the path of least resistance

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Basic Electrical Theory


Voltage causes a
Current to flow
Water analogy

A complete Circuit
is necessary for
current to flow
Bird on HT wires

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Voltages
Low Tension

0 => 50V

Batteries: AA, AAA, MP3 player


Car, trucks, busses 12 / 24 / 48
Garden lights, domestic halogen lights

High Tension

100 => 300V

EU Mains, Electrophoresis, DART, Capacitors SM PSUs

Very High Tension

1KV +

ESB pylons, TV tubes, photocopiers, X-Ray machines,


Mass Spectrometers
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Electricity - associated
Indirect Injury

Hazards

Falls from ladder


Thrown back. Fall to ground, onto sharp edge
Drop objects
Thermal burns Very hot equipment surface, explosion

Wires & cables - Trailing leads => trips & damage,


Re-route, tidy up, cover over

Life Support muscles

Diaphragm and breathing


Heart Fibrillation
Random, uncoordinated heart contractions
De-fribrillation:
High voltages (3000 V at 20 A) fraction of
a second

Burns - death of tissue


Internal [organs]
External [skin]
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Electrical cables &


plugs
Mains cable
Live power
Neutral
Earth

N
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Live, Neutral, Earth


& Fuses
L

N
L
N
E
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Live, Neutral, Earth


& Fuses
L

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RCD
Residual Current Device
RCCB
Residual Current Circuit Breaker
ELCB
Electric Leakage Circuit Breaker
MCB
Magnetic Circuit Breakers
RCBO
Residual Current Breaker
with Overcurrent protection
current difference of
>30 mA
for a duration of
>30 ms

L
N

N
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Live, Neutral, Earth &


Fuses

The Live and


circuit

Neutral wires carry current around the

The

Earth wire is there to protect you.

The

Fuse is very thin piece of wire.

The Earth wire can act like a back-up Neutral wire,


Many appliances have metal cases e.g. kettles, toasters,
dishwashers, washing machines etc.
The wire has a quite low melting point. As current flows
through the wire it heats up.
If too large a current flows it melts, thus breaking the
circuit
Use appropriate fuse size/rating

Additional safety devices - RCDs, ELCBs, MCBs


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Specific Hazards & Personal


Safety

RF & W

Capacitive coupling, no need to touch,


Both can burn severely internally and externally depending on
how focused. Think of them like an open air -wave oven

HT
Static, OK [Very low current, moderate power]
Will jump considerable distances, beware of capacitors

Power
Heating effect in body
=> internal burns / damage
Contact burns, deep burns & necrosis

Trailing power and signal wires January 2008

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Protect & Tidy them up

Electrical Appliances
Safety guiding principle
keep currents and voltages inside apparatus and
away from our bodies

Inherently safe - Low voltage / low


current

Enclosures
Insulation
Safe & secure connections

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Electrical cables &


plugs
Mains cable

Brown
Live - power
Blue
Neutral
Green/yellow
Earth

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Common
Hazards

Shocks.
Burns.
Explosions.
Fires.

Electricity and the Human


Body
~1ma:
>3ma:

Sensation on hands.
Painful shock which can cause
indirect accidents.
>10ma:
Muscle contraction, no-let-go
danger.
>30ma:
Lung paralysis
>50ma:
Possible ventricular fibrillation.
100ma - 4A: Certain ventricular
fibrillation

Protective
Triangle
Keep Away

Grounding

GFCI

Electrocution
Triangle
Electricity

Path

Time

Fatality
An employee received a fatal electric
shock while operating a high pressure
water sprayer which was connected to a
portable light with a receptacle built into
the handle. The portable light was being
used as an extension cord, and was not
approved for wet or damp locations. The
electrical cord had been spliced and the
cord had been laying in water at the time
of the accident.

Fatality

Commonly Cited Violations


Unused openings
Exposed live parts
Missing covers
Defective Ground
Prohibited
uses of flexibl cords.

Blocked Electrical
Panels

Strain on
Conductors

Inadequate Strain Relief on


Cord

Exposed Live Parts


Employees
cap is hung on
power strip
energized to
120VAC

Exposed Live
Parts

Exposed live
parts
Missing
breakers inside
of circuit
breaker panel

Ungrounded Cords
Ground pin
missing on
extension
cord

Damaged
Faceplate

Utility Boxes
Utility boxes
are not
approved for
usage as
extension
cords.

Receptacles in Wet
Locations
Receptacles in
wet or damp
locations need
covers.

Receptacles in Wet
Locations

Receptacles in wet or damp locations


need covers.

Damaged
Faceplate

Portable Electric
Tools
Inspect before usage.
Remove from service
tools with damaged
cords.
Use grounded or
double insulated tools.
Check continuity of
tool.

Hazard
Assessment
Employers are required to assess
the workplace to determine if
hazards that require the use of
personal protective equipment are
present or are likely to be present.

Personal Protective
Equipment
Head protection - overhead hazards
Eye protection - grinding, chipping, or
sawing operations.
Hearing protection - noisy environments
Respiratory protection - exposure levels
exceed permissible exposure limits.
Foot protection - falling, rolling, or sharp
object.

Rubber Gloves
Must be air tested daily
before usage.
Must be electrically
tested every 6 months
or replaced.
Before issuance gloves
may be stored for up to
1 year without being
tested.

Ground fault circuit


interrupters (GFCIs)
A GFCI is not an overcurrent device like a fuse
or circuit breaker
GFCIs are designed to sense an imbalance in
current flow over the normal path

Ground fault circuit


interrupters (GFCIs)
GFCI contains a special
sensor that monitors the
strength of the magnetic
field around each wire in the
circuit when current is
flowing
The field is proportional to
the amount of current flow

Ground fault circuit


interrupters (GFCIs)
If the current flowing in the black (ungrounded)
wire is within 5 milliampers of the current
flowing in the white (grounded) all the current
will flow in the normal path
If the current flow differs by more than 5mA +/1mA, the GFCI will quickly open the circuit

Low-resistance grounding systems use a neutral grounding


resistor to limit the fault current to 25 A or greater.
Low resistance grounding systems will have a time rating (e.g.
10 seconds) that indicates how long the resistor can carry the
fault current before overheating. A ground fault protection
relay must trip the breaker to protect the circuit before
overheating occurs.

High-resistance grounding (HRG) systems use an NGR to


limit the fault current to 25 A or less.
They have a continuous rating, and are designed to operate
with a single-ground fault.
This means that the system will not immediately trip on the
first ground fault.
If a second ground fault occurs, a ground fault protection relay
must trip the breaker to protect the circuit. On an HRG system,
a sensing resistor is used to continuously motor system
continuity. If an open-circuit is detected (e.g., due to a broken
weld on the NGR), the monitoring device will sense voltage
through the sensing resistor and trip the breaker.