Of all common utilities, electricity has the greatest potential and ability to seriously injure and kill. Electricity is invisible - this in itself makes it dangerous.
Electric shock occurs when a person becomes part of an electrical circuit and the current flows through their body. A fatal shock is called electrocution.
The danger of injury through electrical shock is present whenever electrical power is used. The average person can receive critical injuries as a result of even very short exposures to everyday 240 volt single-phase alternating current supply voltages. Under certain conditions people can be injured severely even from relatively low voltages coupled with high current flows.
Most accidents involving electricity result from:
- not isolating the electrical supply
- working on live electrical equipment
- inadequate maintenance.
Most could have been avoided by a combination of factors such as:
- safe work practices
- maintaining electrical installations.