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Toolbox Talks – Effects Of Electric Shock

Our today’s Toolbox Talks topic is Effects Of Electric Shock

        Accident Statistics of 1970’s and 80’s indicated that 30% of all fatalities were caused by electricity. But now the situations changed. Technology is so advanced that electricity can be isolated quickly before they cause severe injury to people and damages to equipments. Still electrical accidents are resulted by the following.
  • Falling from heights due to electric shock.
  • Burning due to the flash during an electrical fault/short circuit.
  • Effects for electricity flowing through human body.
           Current is the killing factor in electrical shock. Voltage is important only in that it determines how much current will flow through a given body resistance  The current necessary to operate a 10 watt light bulb is eight to ten times more current than the amount that would kill a man. 120 volts is enough to cause a current to flow  which is many times greater than that is necessary  to kill.
Currents of 100 to 200 milliamperes cause a fatal heart condition called ventricular fibrillation during which, the heart quivers, without pumping blood. The following figures are given for human resistance to electrical current
Dry skin…………….100,000 to 600,000 ohms
Wet skin.…………………….…..…1,000 ohms
Hand to foot …………….……400 to 600 ohms
Ear to ear………………………about 100 ohms


Current values
 1 Milliampere or less
 Causes no sensation-not felt. Is at threshold of perception
 1 to 8 Milliamperes
Sensation of shock. Not  painful. Muscular control is not lost.
 8 to 15 Milliamperes
 Painful shock. Muscular control is not lost.
 15 to 20 Milliamperes 
Painful shock. Muscular control of adjacent muscles lost. Cannot let go.
 20 to 50 Milliamperes
Painful. Severe muscular contractions. Breathing is difficult.
 100 to 200 Milliamperes
VENTRICULAR FIBRILLATION. (A heart condition that results in death)
 200 and over Milliiamp.
Severe burns. Severe muscular contractions, so severe that chest muscles  clamp heart and stop it during duration of shock. ( this prevents ventricular fibrillation )


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