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How to prevent electric shock at work

Yeh, Mu-Lin; Taipei North Branch, Taiwan Power Company

    According to the statistics of occupational hazards over past years by the Ministry of Labor, electric shock accidents are ranked second only to falling accidents. Among these, fires caused by non-electric shock are not included. It indicates that electrical accidents and their prevention is an issue worthy of serious concern.

    In regards to electrical safety, we see that it can be discussed from five different aspects: electrical facilities, power cuts, hot work, hot work access, and management.

1. Electrical facilities

    Poor conditioned electrical facilities may easily cause electric shock. Therefore, electric shock hazard prevention should be adopted in using electrical facilities. For example, it is necessary to use electrical equipment and wire that meets safety standards. Electrical equipment parts with electric charge should be covered or insulated. Lamp holder parts with electric charge should be covered. Temporary electricity supply should be installed with high sensitivity electricity leakage breakers to prevent electrical leakage that may cause electric shock. Non-metal covers should be connected to ground wires.

2. Power cuts

    When maintaining facilities, painting, etc. during a power cut, workers should follow the SOP of power cuts strictly. When necessary, related equipment should be locked, or signs of “power outage” or “planned power outage due to maintenance” should be posted, or personnel should be assigned to monitor the progress. Voltage detectors should be used to ensure power is cut and wire grounded. When the area of power outage is a part of the generating equipment or power transformation equipment, blue belts should be placed around it or wire nets should be used to cover it. The sign “power outage zone” should be posted. The areas with electric charge should be surrounded with red belts or covered with wire nets. And the sign “Danger: High Voltage” should be posted to alert people.

    When the operation is completed, and electricity is transmitted, it is necessary to make sure workers are free of the worry of electric shock in advance. And electricity should be transmitted after the disabling of the short circuit system and the dismounting of red belts, blue belts, wire nets, and signs.

3. Hot work

    When conducting high voltage line maintenance hot work, operators should wear insulating and protective gear and use hot work tools. Protective and insulating devices should be installed near contact points and wires.

4. Hot work access

    When working near high voltage lines, insulation and protective devices should be installed 60cm above the head, at both sides of the body, and under the feet near high voltage lines. For operators unable to keep a distance from the live wire, insulation shields or protective devices should be used. Or, a complete power cut should be conducted.

5. Management

    Insulation and protective devices, protective equipment, hot work tools, and more should be examined every 6 months to guarantee their proper functions. Operators should test their own devices before each operation. Failed devices should be replaced.

    As we all know, the best way to prevent electric should is to refrain from touching any charged body, ensure that electrical facilities are leak-proof, and enhance all sorts of protective devices and grounding measurements. Automatic inspection and regular inspection should be carried out on electrical facilities and power lines. Education, training, and management should be conducted to prevent electric shock hazard from happening in order to protect our safety.