Electrical Safety

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For more information on Electricity click here for the relevant chapter of the TUC guide to health and safety "Hazards at Work

According to the Health and Safety Executive, each year there are around 1,000 work accidents involving electric shock or burns. Around 30 of these are fatal. Most fatalities arise from contact with overhead or underground cables.

The passage of electric current through the body may cause muscular contractions, respiratory failure, fibrillation of the heart, cardiac arrest or injury from burns.

Non-fatal shocks can cause severe or permanent injury. Shocks from electrical installations or equipment may lead to falls from heights. Electrical workers are not the only workers at risk; any workers using poorly installed or faulty appliances are at risk from shocks or fires.

The main hazards are from contact with live parts, fires and explosion. Risk of injury is higher when the working environment is wet, outdoors or cramped. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require precautions to be taken against the risk of death or injury from electricity during work at or near electrical systems.


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