Electrical Safety: Safety & Health for Electrical Trades (Student Manual)

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Summary Statement

Student manual on electrical safety with information on recognizing, evaluating and avoiding hazards related to electricity.
January 2002

maximum amount of current a wire can carry safely without overheating.
strength of an electrical current, measured in ampress
ampere (amp)
unit used to measure current
explosive release of molten material from equipment caused by high-amperage arcs
luminous electrical discharge (bright, electrical sparking) through the air that occurs when high voltages exist across a gap between conductors
American Wire Gauge- measure of wire size
joining electrical parts to assure a conductive path
bonding jumper
conductor used to connect parts to be bonded
complete path for the flow of current
circuit breaker
overcurrent protection device that automatically shuts off the current in a circuit if an overload occurs
material in which an electrical current moves easily
cardiopulmonary resuscitation—emergency procedure that involves giving artificial breathing and heart massage to someone who is not breathing or does not have a pulse (requires special training)
movement of electrical energy
shutting off the energy sources to circuits and equipment and depleting any stored energy
equipment with two insulation barriers and no exposed metal parts
energized (live, "hot")
similar terms meaning that a voltage is present that can cause a current, so there is a possibility of getting shocked
fault current
any current that is not in its intended path
fixed wiring
permanent wiring installed in homes and other buildings
flexible wiring
cables with insulated and stranded wire that bends easily
overcurrent protection device that has an internal part that melts and shuts off the current in a circuit if there is an overload
ground fault circuit interrupter—a device that detects current leakage from a circuit to ground and shuts the current off
physical electrical connection to the earth
ground fault
loss of current from a circuit to a ground connection
ground potential
voltage a grounded part should have; 0 volts relative to ground
covering or barrier that separates you from live electrical parts
material that does not conduct electricity easily
leakage current
current that does not return through the intended path, but instead "leaks" to ground
applying a physical lock to the energy sources of circuits and equipment after they have been shut off and de-energized
milliampere (milliamp or mA)
1/1,000 of an ampere
National Electrical Code—comprehensive listing of practices to protect workers and equipment from electrical hazards such as fire and electrocution
at ground potential (0 volts) because of a connection to ground
unit of measurement for electrical resistance
Occupational Safety and Health Administration—Federal agency in the U.S. Department of Labor that establishes and enforces work-place safety and health regulations
overcurrent protection device
device that prevents too much current in a circuit
too much current in a circuit
amount of energy used each second, measured in watts
personal protective equipment (eye protection, hard hat, special clothing, etc.)
qualified person
someone who has received mandated training on the hazards and on the construction and operation of equipment involved in a task
material’s ability to decrease or stop electrical current
chance that injury or death will occur
shocking current
electrical current that passes through a part of the body
low-resistance path between a live wire and the ground, or between wires at different voltages (called a fault if the current is unintended)
applying a tag that alerts workers that circuits and equipment have been locked out
automatic opening (turning off) of a circuit by a GFCI or circuit breaker
measure of electrical force
wire gauge
wire size or diameter (technically, the cross-sectional area)
1. Castillo DN [1995]. NIOSH alert: preventing death and injuries of adolescent workers. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 95-125.
2. Lee RL [1973]. Electrical safety in industrial plants. Am Soc Safety Eng J 18(9):36-42.
3. DOL [1997]. Controlling electrical hazards. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration.