These types of activities, as well as simply being present on job sites where electrical hazards may exist, dictate that we have basic safety training that permits us to recognize and avoid hazardous situations. This column will not to try to provide that training, but to make the case for it by describing some of the hazards and associated regulations that you should be aware of. We'll start this month by discussing "plain old" electrocution, and in the next column I'll address the newer (from a regulatory standpoint) issue of arc flash hazards.
When you are in a large facility or on a construction site, however, it's an entirely different matter. Low-level shock hazards still exist, but exposure to voltages of 480V and above can produce higher levels of current that can burn the tissues they pass through. Extent of injury in these instances depends on the path the current takes through the body and the duration of contact. If vital organs are involved, these burns may be fatal; if not, they can still result in extensive muscle damage.