On a daily basis, we all come into contact with electrical appliances, equipment, devices…and it’s helpful to have basic Electrical Safety Knowledge. Here’s a mini lesson on what to do and what not to do in case of an electrical shock.
FIRST AND FOREMOST:
The most important thing to have in mind is NEVER TOUCH THE PERSON RECEIVING THE ELECTRICAL SHOCK!!! This goes against all human nature, as our first instinct would be to try to grab the person to safety. However, electricity requires a continuous flow and will always look for it’s way out. For example, if you touch or step on something energized and receive an electric shock, the current will automatically follow the quickest path to the heart and look for an exit. This means that the electrical current generally exits the body thru one of the extremities…hands, feet, or head. The point of exit will always receive the brunt of the electrical shock. Therefore, if you try to grab the person being shocked, you can be sure you will receive more severe injuries than they will.
With that being said, what should you do in the case of an electric shock?
- Call 911
- Try to locate source of power and turn it off as quickly as possible. Appliances, breakers, devices…
- Do your best to separate the person from the source of electricity with a non-conductive object…a wooden broom handle, plastic or cardboard.
- While waiting for EMS to arrive, try to determine whether the casualty is responsive without moving them.
- Check for any electrical burns and treat accordingly. NOTE: electrical burns may vary depending on how long the body is in contact with electrical current, the strength of current, type of current, and the direction the current takes through the body.
- If the casualty is not breathing, you may have to conduct CPR.
Always take the necessary precautions to work safely. Wear PPE and never work alone.