Lessons from losses - electrical hazards
A hotel maintenance employee was working on an air conditioning unit and experienced an electric shock when his hand touched a live wire. The air conditioning unit had leaked water onto the floor of the room. The worker was dry except for his knee on the floor. When he touched the wire it took him a few seconds to get away, and when he did he rolled on to his side and was able to call for assistance. The injured worker was taken by ambulance to the hospital and several tests were administered. Once released, he continued to complain of vision problems, headaches, sharp pain, and numbness. He had to walk with the assistance of a cane. The injured worker was not qualified to perform electrical work. He was working without gloves or tools and had not turned off the power source.
Seek assistance from a qualified person. Some of the more common electrical hazards non-qualified individuals may encounter include contact with damaged electrical equipment, improper wiring, and overloading of circuits. Common electrical injuries include cardiac arrest and respiratory failure from electric shock or electrocution, muscle, nerve, and tissue destruction, burns from arc flash, thermal burns, and secondary injuries, like falling off a ladder. The higher risk injuries are from higher currents and where it passes through the body, the most dangerous being the chest or brain. A best practice would be to call a qualified electrician to conduct repairs. If someone experiences shock or electrocution, do not touch the person because the charge could pass through you. Shut off the electrical equipment if the shock is continuing, call for first aid support to administer CPR and/or use an AED while emergency help is on the way.
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