EducationElectrical hazard definition - Types of electrical hazard

Electrical hazard definition – Types of electrical hazard

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One of the most vital group of electrical hazard are those associated with the impacts of electric current on the body. To start with, electric shock and also electric burn happen when an individual with two parts of his body touches at the same time two elements of the device which are under various capacities. The prerequisite for the flow of electric current is the closing of a circuit, of which the human body is a part. The accident scenario is normally as complies with, the victim:

·  touches the hazardous live components, i.e. the part that is under harmful voltage as well as is inside the tools – this is called straight call,

·  touches the subjected conductive parts, i.e. steel parts of the tools that can be easily touched by a person and that, although they are not meant to conduct electricity or to be real-time, might instantly end up being online as a result of a flaw in the insulation – this is called indirect touch,

·  when the person walks on conductive ground where a current is moving due to, as an example, ground fault in a neighboring device or lightning, this is called action voltage electric shock.

Accidents of electric shock as well as associated electrical cells burns are usually triggered by:
a) malfunctioning construction of equipment or improper selection of tools for the criteria of the power system and also ecological problems, in particular:
– the opportunity, as opposed to safety and security regulations, of unauthorized gain access to of individuals to hazardous active parts, e.g. due to the device casing not being shut or its components being insufficient (covers, doors, lampshades, seals, plugs, and so on),
– inadequate tightness of the device’s housing, which causes water penetration into the housing and bring the capacity of unsafe real-time components outside.

b) inappropriate use of equipment, comprehended particularly as:

·  delegating the usage and also repair service of the tools to individuals without the called for understanding and needed credentials,

·  unapproved interference in the building of the equipment or its aspects, e.g. unapproved repair service of fuse links or taking down of their lowering action inserts, alteration of the devices in order to “improve” it,

·  replacement of plugs as well as sockets with those originally used, or their adjustment to eliminate apparent incompatibilities, or the use of splitters and also various other devices of wrong construction,

·  unauthorized disassembly, commonly resulting in later mistakes throughout setting up of the device, which leads, as an example, to incorrect exchange of cables,

·  fixing insulation as well as other essential parts of the device in an unintentional way or with using improper modern technology,

·  disregarding the guidelines of the developer or producer of the device, specifically those worrying right assembly or installment, as well as the method of using the device.

A sensation commonly taking place during an electrical accident, usually accompanying an electric shock, is ignition of an electric arc, which might be launched by a person as a result of excessive closeness to the energetic part of the device, in addition to by triggering a short circuit, e.g. as a result of improperly done switching operations or unapproved interference with the device framework. Similar result may be brought on by interrupting of the packed circuit. An arcing brief may also occur spontaneously as a result of weakening or degradation of the insulation, caused, for example, by incorrect use or excessive exploitation of the device. The phenomenon of electric arc is extremely dangerous as a result of its abrupt and also unpredictable personality and also the significant extent of the injuries it triggers, such as: burning of cells, damage to eyes, metallization of skin as well as eyeballs, impact with scattered parts of the device, fatality. Usually, the root cause of an electric shock crash, consisting of with the occurrence of an electric arc, is disregard for security regulations. Male has no receptors to caution him before electrical hazard. You can not see these threats with your eyes, odor or listen to. With reliable understanding, creativity and conformity with the recommended regulations of conduct – you can shield yourself from mishaps and also their hazardous consequences.


Types of electrical hazard

The effect of an electric arc

The unpredictability of arc ignition as well as the trouble in extinguishing it, combined with high energy density as well as a temperature level of countless kelvin make it an incredibly unsafe sensation. The effect of an arc on an individual brings about many injuries: from shedding or charring of tissues at the point of penetration right into the body, through damage to the eyes as a result of radiation (infrared, ultraviolet), to the metallization of the skin and eyeballs by cooling down declines of liquified metal as well as shielding product, as well as additionally feasible mechanical injuries brought on by the spreading of fragments of the device or dropping. Arc ignition can happen, for example, under the following scenarios:

Possible causes: violation of the minimum safety range when approaching a live part (specifically in a high-voltage device), adjustment in the vicinity of a live component, incorrect/erroneous switching procedures; possible effects: triggering of an arc fault by an individual
b) possible causes: breaking the connection of a packed electrical circuit (by analogy to the process of electric welding), making improper/erratic switching operations (especially using device not ideal for disrupting operating/short-circuit currents); feasible repercussions: human stimulated arc ignition.
c) possible causes: electrical failure of the insulation due to its destruction or overvoltage, unexpected call of steel items with live components, covering the insulation surface with a layer of dust or conductive dirt (e.g. because of abrasion/wear of contact elements); possible effects: spontaneous arcing.

Interaction of electrostatic charges

The incident of electrostatic phenomena is specifically observed in settings for electrification, i.e. where dielectrics are present as well as bodies relocate with each other, or where it is feasible to cause charges. Besides the direct result of the charges on individuals, regarded as discomfort, stress and anxiety or shock right now of their presence, with possible mechanical injury presently of involuntary movement, up to the deadly descent because of shock or surge currently of discharge, it is likewise feasible to damage tools (e.g. AKP or process control) right now of discharge. This may bring about different losses (e.g. of products, raw materials or products), damage to sensitive devices consisting of semiconductors, disturbance of machinery or procedure lines due to the impact of electrostatic field, and even their breakdown (e.g. danger of unexpected start-up) causing injury.

Effects of atmospheric phenomena and switching processes

Along with the evident opportunities:

·  human paralysis at the moment of dangerous touch voltage (on equipment housings and also structural elements of the structure and also on its tools) or step voltage (on the surface of floors as well as on the ground) at power devices or at an item struck by lightning – as a result of lightning current flow, as well as also as a result of electrical development of the wall surface material (when parts of the lightning defense system resemble earthed things inside the structure),.

·  damage to the insulation in the power equipment revealed to the straight effect of lightning discharge, such as above transmission lines, ventilation and also air-conditioning equipment on the roofing system of the building, but also wires laid in the ground near the lightning security system grounding.

·  incident of mechanical and also thermal dangers, such as bursting of chimneys, burning of roof covering sheets, penetration of beads of radiant product under the roof covering incline, home heating of architectural aspects of the structure, ignition of objects in the vicinity of architectural aspects and also parts of the lightning protection system.

·  creating fire as a result of stimulating and stray currents – brought on by induction of electrostatic charges by electrostatic discharge.

It is also necessary to mention right here the exceptionally vital threats brought on by the induction of surges of atmospheric origin in different electric circuits. An overvoltage must be comprehended as a short-term (surge) rise of the temporary voltage between e.g. 2 wires, dramatically exceeding the operating voltage (throughout typical operation), which leads to tension on the insulation resulting – quickly or after some time – in its break down and destruction. This is assisted in by the increasing level of sensitivity of the equipment due to its boosting intricacy, which leads to the emergence of dangerous flaws – observed as a rule the extra regularly the devices is saturated with digital equipment. The damage can happen in sensitive tools: in computer systems, in devices: RTV, telecommunications and data transmission, in device: AKP, control, electromedical, and so on – The effects can be disturbances of the functioning of the devices, such as: interference in the electronic devices, control design, electromedical tools, and so on, mostly as a result of advancement in semiconductor components, but often likewise in typical installments and also receivers. The effects might be malfunctions, long-term and expensive damages to components or whole subassemblies, up to insulation malfunctions creating human shock or fire or surge. Such rises are observed not only at the lightning channel, however also at a distance of thousands of meters or perhaps kilometers from the area of effect. A similar impact is generated by changing overvoltages, generated automatically throughout the procedure of power tools (specifically when disrupting the current in inductive circuits).

The phenomenon of electric shock

The effect of electric current on the human body can be:
– direct: when an electric current flows with the human body, it can create:
– disturbance of the nervous system, which can show up as:
– muscle spasms,
– breathing apprehension,
– ventricular fibrillation,
– blood flow conditions,
– inner and external burns.
– indirect: which occurs without the flow of current with the body, such as damage to the eyes with the activity of an electric arc.
It ought to be noted that the intensity of the supposed pathophysiological impacts depends on the intensity of the current, but also its kind (alternating, direct, impulse). Additionally, as a rule, the larger the part of the body influenced by the current, the much more extreme the effects, and the worst results are certainly when the region of the heart is influenced – in practice, these are mishaps including the left hand. An additional vital factor is the psycho-physical state of the individual at the time of the accident, as well as here the strong influence of the presence of moisture or water on the epidermis becomes apparent – observations result in the verdict that the wetter the skin, the less resistance it uses to the current, and also as a result the sufferer’s chances lower dramatically. Scenarios that trigger the body to sweat have a comparable result, such as physical exertion, anxiety, working in an unnaturally required placement, or the evaporation via the skin of alcohol that has been consumed. Another element that aggravates an electrocuted person is the existence of metal grounded masses that might be touched or squeezed in the hands.


Michal Pukala
Electronics and Telecommunications engineer with Electro-energetics Master degree graduation. Lightning designer experienced engineer. Currently working in IT industry.