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# NEBOSH

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WEEK 2 ELEMENT 4

## Electrical Hazards and Control

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Electricity: Introduction
Each year in the UK there are: 30 workplace deaths 30 domestic deaths Electric shock Electric burns Electrical arcing Fires Explosions

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## Electrical Terms (1)

Volt (Pressure difference):
The unit of measurement of electrical pressure

Ampere (Current):
The unit of measurement of electric current flow

Ohm (Resistance):
The unit of measurement of electrical resistance

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## Electrical Terms (2)

Direct Current (DC):
The current flows in one direction between positive and negative terminals

## Alternating Current (AC):

The electric current is constantly reversing its direction of flow at a given frequency

Frequency:
Measured in cycles per second is expressed in Hertz in UK 50 cycles per second

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## Electrical Terms (3)

Conductors:
A material that allows electricity to flow easily :- e.g. copper, steel, water

Insulators:
Materials that have a high resistance to electrical current:- e.g. plastic, rubber, wood

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Nature of Electricity
Ohms Law
The higher the electrical pressure (V) or the lower the circuit resistance (R), the higher is the current that flows in an electrical circuit:

or current

pressure

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## Ohms Law Example

If the applied voltage is 230V and circuit resistance is 1,000 ohms then the current flow will be 0.23A or 230 mA
230 V/I=R 1,000 = 0.23

If we have two values then we are able to work out the third !

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Electrical Power
Another useful expression enables the electrical power (P), represented by the flow of electrical current in a circuit, to be determined.

When:

W V I

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## Main Dangers of Electricity

1) Electric Shock: Contact with live parts
Direct Contact: Coming in to contact with a conductor that is supposed to be live Indirect Contact: Coming into contact with a conductor that is not live in normal conditions but has become live due to a fault

2) Arcing

4) Burns

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## Severity of Electric Shock

Current in amperes Length of contact time Path through the body Conductivity/resistance of the body The voltage Conductivity of the environment Nature of the contact Age and health status of victim

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## If a Person has received an Electric Shock

a) Do not touch injured person until the current is switched off. b) If the current cannot be switched off, stand on some dry insulating material and use a wooden or plastic implement to remove the injured person from the electrical source. c) Administer first aid if qualified d) Call professional help

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## Main Dangers of Electricity

Arcing: Electricity can jump an air gap causing
shock effects to persons not in contact with conductor

## Fire & Explosion: Flow of electricity

generates heat. If large flow passes through unsuitable conductor heat can lead to fire

## Burns: Heat of arcing or excessive flow

through body causes tissue damage

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## Causes of Electrical Fire

Incorrect fuses (e.g. nails) Damaged wiring and insulation Loose connections Overheating of cables Overheating due to thermal insulation Overheating due to lack of ventilation Flammable materials to close to electrical equipment

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## Effects on Body of Electricity

Damage to the nervous system
Fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) Tissue burns at entry and exit

## Damage to internal organs

Muscular contractions Physical trauma Stopping breathing (respiratory paralysis) Stopping the heart (cardiac arrest)

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## Secondary Effects of Electrical Shock

Falls from height Unintentional movement of machinery Failure of control measures & security systems Loss of information Corporate reputation Throw off sudden movement of the body

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## Electricity Protection Devices

Fuses Circuit breaker Earthing Isolation Reduced voltage Battery operated tools Residual Current Devices (RCD) Double insulation

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Fuse
A specially designed weak link which is designed to melt at a predetermined value of current

cheap and readily available protects equipment

will not protect individuals slow to operate inaccurate unsuitable or wrong fuse may be used easy to override needs tool to replace

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Circuit Breakers
Electromagnetic devices which perform the same function as fuses but operate faster

automatically trip under fault conditions no tools required to reset not easy to defeat Protects equipment from overload

may be mistaken for an RCD do not protect the individual

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## Earthing (Earth Leakage Protectors)

Electricity will always try to reach earth and earthing is a means of providing a low resistance path to earth

Prevent indirect electric shock Readily identified

specialist testing and maintenance, professional installation No protection if removed

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Isolation
Shutting off the electricity supply to an item of equipment and preventing the system from being mistakenly reconnected

safest option as it eliminates electricity may be physically locked off

may isolate other equipment may be reconnected without lock off prevents live fault finding

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## Reduced Voltage Systems (2)

Reducing the mains voltage by means of a transformer to a lower safer voltage e.g. 110volts or 55 volts

## at 55V - injury is highly unlikely

colour coded cabling system for easy recognition

## specialist equipment e.g. Transformer required

lead from supply to transformer at higher voltages, needing protection with RCD

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## Battery Operated Tools

limited use low power output Constant charging required

little risk during normal use Not restricted by cable No trailing cable

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## Residual Current Devices (RCD)

Compares the electricity flow to the equipment with the return flow and if a difference is detected the equipment is isolated

rapid and sensitive difficult to defeat easy to use, test and reset can not be reset with a fault on the circuit

may isolate crucial equipment if one RCD covers a number of distribution points e.g. freezers and computers mechanical device which could fail No overload protection

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Double Insulation
Two separate layers of insulation are provided which allows for fault detection where one layer has failed the other still provides protection

two layers of insulation prevent user contact with any live parts no earth required

physical damage may defeat double insulation No earth therefore no protection if used with equipment that requires earth

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## Portable Electrical Equipment

Accidents caused by:
Using unsuitable apparatus Inadequate maintenance or misuse

## Using defective apparatus

Modifications by unauthorised personnel Modifications whilst the appliance is live

## Using equipment in unsuitable environments

No system of inspection or removal of damaged equipment

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## Hazards of Portable Electrical Equipment

Areas to look at for hazards
Plug
No fuse Damage to plug casing Incorrect wiring Earth wire detached

Cable
Run over Dragged Trapped

Joints
Makeshift Leads pulled out of cord grip Incorrect wiring

Appliance
Casing Worn Connections

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## Precautions using Portable Equipment

Reduced voltage operation Use of residual current circuit breakers Protected against overload Cables insulated Correct sheathing Sufficient socket outlets Use of cable drums Correct maintenance and repair Reduced voltage operation Regular inspections and checks Properly trained staff

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Types of Inspection
1) User checks 2) Formal visual inspection 3) Combined inspection and test (PAT testing)

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## Frequency of Inspection & Test

Manufacturers recommendations Age of equipment Robustness of equipment Double insulated or earthed Type of cable (e.g. armoured) Extent of use Users of equipment Environment Abuse or misuse History of equipment

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## Reason to keep records of inspection and testing of electrical equipment

a) Inspection by authorised person b) In case test label removed c) Test frequencies maintained d) Record actions of faults rectified

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## Electrical Safety in Office Environments

1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) 11) 12) Equipment of approved standard Maintenance of fixed electrical installations There is a means of isolation Connections, wiring free from defects Correct fuses Plugs correctly wired No overloading of sockets Appliances switched off when not in use PAT testing in date Cables correctly routed RCDs used System for reporting of defects

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## Precautions for on Working Live Equipment

Trained and Competent Staff Accompanied by another person Adequate Information about the risks

## Suitable insulated tools

Insulated barriers or screens Suitable instruments and test probes

## Personal protective equipment/rubber mats

Permit to work Restricted access