Whether working as a contractor or electrician, or doing their own work at home, people in Ohio should be aware of the potential health and safety risks associated with any electrical work. Understanding the potential dangers and causes of electrocution is knowledge that can help people to protect themselves from unwanted injuries.
Possible electrocution injuries
The degree of electrical safety risk depends on the voltage of the system being worked on. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration outlines the varying levels of harm that the body can suffer when shocked.
The basic static shock from low voltage wires can range from slight tingling to an uncomfortable sensation that may cause the muscles to tense up. The most intense effects from a significant electrical current can be as bad as severe burns and full cardiac arrest, which can prove fatal.
One of the greatest dangers posed by an electrical current is the loss of muscle control, which can lead to someone who is shocked being unable to let go of the electrical source, allowing more energy to flow through his or her body. In between the most severe and most minor shocks, anything from nerve damage and respiratory arrest to muscle spasms and extreme pain is possible.
According to the Ohio Public Utilities Commission, calling 8-1-1 is a good start when beginning a digging project to make sure underground wires are marked. A good rule of thumb is to stay at least 10 feet away from power lines, especially if standing on a tall ladder. Rubber-soled shoes and other insulating clothes provide added protection against accidental shocks. It is also ideal to avoid working with electricity in a wet area. These practices can help to reduce the risk of electrical shock.