Assured equipment grounding is a procedure that assures all permanent and temporary electrical equipment is properly grounded to prevent electric shock to users of the equipment and nearby workers. In some cases, Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI’s) are utilized and protect humans from electric shock. However, in some cases GFCI is not utilized and hazards are even more likely without their presence.
What are the effects of improper equipment grounding on humans?
Electric shock is the primary concern when it comes to the grounding of electrical equipment and misuse of other electrical equipment such as receptacles, fuses, circuit breakers and extension cords.
1. 1mA: Slight tingling sensation, but dangerous when combined with water or moisture
2. 5mA: Slight electric shock resulting in involuntary actions, which lead to injury
3. 6mA - 16mA: Painful shock resulting in loss of muscular control
4. 17mA – 99mA: Extremely painful shock, respiratory arrest, severe muscular contractions, inability to “let go” of contact point which can lead to death
5. 100mA – 2000mA: Ventricular fibrillation (uneven, uncoordinated pumping of the heart) resulting in muscular contraction and nerve damage
6. 2000mA and up: Cardiac arrest, internal organ damage, severe burns and death
1. Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI’s) whenever possible
2. Follow manufacturers recommendations on all electrical tools and equipment
3. Use double-insulated tools and equipment whenever possible
4. Visually inspect all electrical equipment for frayed cords, missing cord insulation, missing prongs, cracked casings, etc. before use
5. Remove and discard or tag for repair any defective electrical equipment before use