Electric Shock and Electrocution

a woman electrocuted


This kind of incident is almost always imminent in our daily lives, even though it seldom happens. In most scenarios it is caused by unsafe practices and poor maintenance of electrical appliances and wiring.

Knowing situations that put us at risk and other factors that can aid the unfortunate incident is key.

In this article will be discussing what electric shock/electrocution is, causes prevention and   common conductors of electricity and insulators too.


 What is Electric shock and Electrocution?


This is an accident caused by electric shock or passing of electric current through the body; the results are death or very severe injury.  The term electrocution is used in cases when victim dies.

The current in your regular house wiring and appliances is enough to kill or shock. About 100 volts and even less can be lethal; but a quick note it is not about the amount of voltage necessarily it is the amps (the amount of electricity current) that leads to death. Read this article What Are Amps (and Amp-Hours) And Why Do They Matter? (battlebornbatteries.com)for more explanation on the relationship between amps and voltage.


Symptoms of Electrocution

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Headache
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Bone fracture
  • Seized breathing
  • Internal injuries
  • Burns


Causes of Electrocution


Contact with electric current; like exposure to power lines or energized equipment etc. by accident or due to careless acts.


Careless Acts that lead to Electrocution;


Some people do things that put themselves at risk of electrocution without knowing, some know they are risk but because it seems unlikely that they could get electrocuted they forge on; an instance of this;

  • Is using objects with metallic parts to push down the shutter, when trying to put a two pin plug into a socket for 3 pins.
  • Indiscriminate touching or lifting wires with bare hands especially in places that don’t get much power (power could be restored at any given time).
  • Managing broken switches, adapters and plugs.
  • Touching defective wires/electrical appliances with wet hands or without any good insulator.


What to do when someone is being Electrocuted


First what you do not do is touch them with bare hands and no insulator on, or a wet/damp insulated material

You should quickly knock off power supply if possible, prolonged exposure is detrimental.

Separate the victim from the power source with very dry and heavy wood if there is.

Notes; if you succeed with these first check for breathing, get help immediately, don’t try to move the victim unless you are trying to get them after away from the electric source.


Prevention of Electrocution


  • Be safety conscious always
  • Repair and replace broken cables that carry electricity
  • Know your conductors
  • Don’t touch electrical appliances that plugged in with wet hands, there could be leakage that you are unaware of.
  • Observe the LOTO- log out tag out.
  • Ensure appliances are switched off and unplugged before uncoupling.
  • Be wary and check for accidentally energized equipment.
  • Handle electrical jobs with the appropriate tools and gear.


Common Conductors and Insulators

Conductors carry electric current, insulators don’t.

  1. Conductors;
  • Copper
  • Aluminum
  • Gold
  • Brass
  • Steel
  • Silver


  1. Insulators;
  • Rubber
  • Glass
  • Air
  • Vacuum
  • Plastic
  • Dry wood
  • Paper


Knowledge of this helps you to know the kinds of material that shouldn’t carelessly come in contact with electric current.

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This is quite insightful! Thanks for sharing.


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