Electrical Industry Canada: Arc Flash, Shock Hazard, & Fire Safety - 8

Psychological Symptoms:
Behaviour changes and attention span issues. You may be irritable,
get frustrated, experience anger and may be physically aggressive. You
may experience depression and posttraumatic stress disorder
depending on whether you experienced " no-let-go " or became
unconscious due to the shock exposure. Other sequela may be:
insomnia, anxiety, fear of electricity, panic attacks, guilt, and moodiness.
Neurological Symptoms:
Memory loss, numbness, headaches, chronic pain, poor
concentration, carpal tunnel, seizure disorders, dizziness, tinnitus, and
tremor.
Physical Symptoms:
Generalized pain, fatigue, exhaustion, reduced range of motion,
contracture, night sweats, fever, chills or joint stiffness.
Based on research completed the effects listed will change or may be
more severe dependent on the shock resulting from no-let-go, was the
shock momentary contact, the path the current flowed through the
body, duration and amount of current.
There are two hospitals that
actually have electrical injury research and treatment programs: St John's
Rehab in Ontario and the University of Chicago, Chicago Electrical
Trauma Rehabilitation Institute.
John Knoll's Story:
John Knoll is a Master Electrician, and a Professional Electrical
Contractor (PEC) with the Electrical Contractors Association of Alberta
(ECAA) and resides in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Unfortunately, John
is currently not working in the trade and is suffering from sequalae
related to receiving multiple low voltage shocks while at work starting as
an Apprentice and while he was a Journeyman Electrician. I think the
story of John's career as an Apprentice Electrician and Journeyman
Electricians is very common. John worked in the non-unionized side of
the trade for most of his apprenticeship and career.
When I asked John about his exposure to shock he told me " as an
ELECTRICAL INDUS TRY CANADA
Apprentice we played games in apartments while trimming out around
being shocked at 120VAC with lighting circuits, we were not taught to
fear electricity or respect it.
I was never concerned about 120VAC,
240VAC, I didn't consider it an issue to receive those shocks. I always
said I would rather receive one knowing it was coming then not
knowing. So a┼┐ter tick testing, we would touch the wires, sometimes the
tick tester lied and it was better to know it was coming. It was the most
we were able to do most times not being supplied the proper PPE or
training to do our duties. "
John started in the electrical trade in 2005 and told me he worked
energized on three phase 208VAC panelboards as an Apprentice a few
months into the trade and had received shocks as early as the first week
in the trade.
John stated, " I was probably shocked up to 500 times. " This may be
hard to believe, but I have talked to other Journeyman Electricians who
quote they were shock hundreds of times during their career. John
quoted that " the Journeyman Electricians I worked with when I was an
Apprentice never identified the hazards and long term effects around
the electric shock. There was no formal training and no personal
protective equipment provided.
If we wanted a tick tester we had
to buy them ourselves. "
" Live "
work was not questioned, " we
had to work energized, as we
couldn't de-energize parts of the
job. For example, working in the
parkade or on house panels, I
couldn't turn off the power or the
lights. We cut in panels energized
and rarely could turn off the
power as it impacted the other
trades.
I didn't receive any
training on lockout until I worked
VOLUME 1, ISSUE 6
8

Electrical Industry Canada: Arc Flash, Shock Hazard, & Fire Safety

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