Electrical Accidents | Electrical Hazards

Electrical accidents, when initially studied, often appear to be caused by circumstances that are varied and peculiar to the particular incidents involved. However, further consideration usually reveals the underlying cause to be a combination of three possible factors:

  • Work involving unsafe equipment and installations;
  • Workplaces made unsafe by the environment; and
  • Unsafe work performance (unsafe acts).
The first two factors are sometimes combined and simply referred to as “unsafe conditions.” Thus, electrical accidents can be generally considered as being caused by unsafe conditions, unsafe acts, or, in what is usually the case, combinations of the two. Additionally, inadequate maintenance can cause equipment or installations which were originally considered safe to deteriorate, resulting in an unsafe condition.
Some unsafe electric equipment and installations can be identified by the presence of:
  • Faulty insulation,
  • Improper grounding,
  • Loose connections,
  • Defective parts,
  • Ground faults in equipment,
  • Unguarded live parts, and
  • Underrated equipment.
The environment can also be a contributory factor to electrical accidents in a number of ways. Environments containing flammable vapors, liquids or gases; areas containing corrosive atmospheres; and wet and damp locations are some unsafe environments affecting electrical safety.
Finally, unsafe acts include the failure to deenergize electric equipment when it is being repaired or inspected, the use of obviously defective and unsafe tools, or the use of tools or equipment too close to energized parts.

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