Electric shock accidents are caused by an electric current passing through the body. The effects from a shock can be anything from a tingling to instant death. Knowing what to do in the event of an electrical shock could save a life.
Approaching the accident:
Take a moment to assess the scene and look for any obvious dangers.
Check for the source of the electrical shock.
Look to see if the victim is still in contact with the source.
Remember that electricity can flow through the victim and into you.
- Call emergency number 108/112 as soon as possible.
- Never use water, even if there is a fire, as water can conduct electricity.
- Never enter an area where electrical equipment is used if the floor is wet.
- Use a fire extinguisher made for electrical fires. Fire extinguishers for use on electrical fires will be labelled as a C, BC, or ABC extinguisher.
- Never rush into an accident situation.
- Get the aid of trained electrical personnel if possible.
- Approach the accident scene cautiously.
Examining the scene:
Visually examine victims to determine if they are in contact with energized conductors.
Metal surfaces, objects near the victim or the earth itself may be energized.
You may become a victim if you touch an energized victim or conductive surface.
Do not touch the victim or conductive surfaces while they are energized.
De-energize electrical circuits if at all possible.
Methods to de-energize:
An extension or power cord probably powers portable electrical equipment.
Unplug portable electrical equipment to remove power.
Open a disconnecting device or circuit breaker to de-energize fixed electrical equipment.
Hazards and solutions:
Be alert for hazards such as stored energy, heated surfaces and fire.
If you can’t de-energize the power source use extreme care:
Ensure that your hands and feet are dry.
Wear protective equipment such as low voltage gloves and overshoes if available.
Stand on a clean dry surface.
Use non-conductive material to remove a victim from the conductor.
High voltage rescue:
Special training is required for rescues if high voltage is present.
Protective equipment such as high voltage gloves and overshoes must be worn.
Special insulated tools should be used
Insulated tools, with high voltage ratings, are a lifesaver!
Use devices such as hot sticks or shotgun sticks to remove a victim from energized conductors.
In some cases, non-conductive rope or cord may be used to remove a victim from a conductor. High voltage rescue:
Rescuing the victim:
Stand on a dry rubber blanket or other insulating material if possible.
Do not touch the victim or conductive material near the victim until the power is off.
Once power is off, examine the victim to determine if they should be moved.
Give “First Aid.”
A victim may require Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
If the victim is breathing and has a heartbeat, give first aid for injuries and treat for shock.
Ensure the victim gets medical care as soon as possible.
Provide medical personnel with information on voltage level, shock duration & entry/exit points. The treating/attending physician must have detailed specific information to properly diagnose and care for the victim.
The physician must determine whether the victim should be sent to a “Trauma or Burn Center.”