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Electrical Hazards

Electrician during test work on a control cabinet © Uwe Völkner, FOX photo agency

Electrical hazards can damage the health of both people and animals. Electricity can also be the cause of fires and explosions. In this section, the only electrical hazards to be considered are those that pose a hazard to people.

Electrical hazards due to electric shock or arcing can arise as a result of the applica-tion of electricity at the workplace (the use of electrical equipment, for example), or during the completion of non-electrical work in the proximity of live electrical equip-ment. Unwanted electrical arcing which occurs due to a defect or switching opera-tions is also known as an arcing fault.

Both hazards can occur at the same time; the type of hazard is also determined by the level of the voltage, however. In the case of voltages of up to 1,000 V AC, electric shock is the primary hazard, while with voltages of over 1,000 V AC, electrical arcing is the primary hazard. For this reason, in this area, there are difficulties in separating the assessment criteria and the occupational health and safety measures that are to be applied. For electric shock and electrical arcing, they are therefore considered simultaneously.

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