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Electrical hazards can be found in all industries. Avoiding electrical shocks both at home and at work requires awareness of the hazards and a respect for this "Silent Killer." The human body has a low resistance to electricity, making it a good conductor, like most metals. Unlike metals however, the human body does not respond well when electricity passes through it. Physical results include thermal burns, disruption of normal heart activity, severe muscle contractions, and even death.
The most common and serious electrical injuries occur when electrical current flows between the hands and feet. This happens when a person touches an energized line. The electrical energy is looking for the shortest path to the ground, and it will pass through the body to the feet to reach it. When this occurs, a persons heart and lungs are frequently damaged by the electrical energy.
Placing an insulator between the energy and the point of physical contact is one method of protection. Porcelain, rubber, pottery and dry wood offer substantial resistance to the flow of electricity, and are therefore good insulators. These materials can often protect a person from electrical shock.
Precautions for avoiding electrical shocks include, but are not limited to, the following:
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