In an electrical emergency, stay calm and think before you act. If you try to pull the victim clear, you will also become a path for electricity. The passage of electricity through the body is called "shock" and may not be enough to kill or injure. Small amounts of electrical current can cause involuntary muscle contractions and will prevent the victim from letting go of a conductor or calling for help.
The effects of an electrical contact are determined by:
- How much current is flowing through the body.
- The path of the electricity - where it enters and exits the body.
- Duration (amount of time) of exposure to the electrical energy.
If equipment makes accidental contact with an electrical conductor, the operator shall try to remove the machine from contact in the best possible manner, without causing further damage. In most cases, this can be accomplished by moving the boom of the machine.
If the machine cannot be moved, the operator shall stay on the machine, warn others in the vicinity to stay at least 10 m clear of the equipment, keep out of the excavation area, do not touch the cables, and notify EPCOR at Power Trouble
If the operator has to leave equipment that is in contact with an electrical conductor, the operator must jump clear and land with feet together — they must
NOT, under any circumstances, step down and allow part of their body to be in contact with the ground while any other part of their body is touching the machine.
Fight the urge to run. The safest way to move away from a downed line is to shuffle with your feet together on the ground (at least 10 m away). When a live wire touches the ground, electricity travels in all directions. Voltage decreases as it travels from the source and electricity could come up one leg and go out the other resulting in an electrical shock.