Electrical Hazards





Electrical Hazards 2

Introduction 3

Four examples of the Electric Hazards 4

New Born Babies Died In Electric Fire at Maternity Hospital in Iraq 5

Causes 5

Resulting Damages 6

Preventive Strategies 7

Electrical Short Circuit which caused fire in an Indian Train 7

Causes 7

Resulting Damages 9

Preventive Strategies 9

Philippine Hotel Electric Fire 10

Causes 10

Resulting Damages 11

Preventive Strategies 11

Electrical Fire under Pavement in London 11

Causes 11

Resulting Damages 12

Strategies 12

Conclusion 13

Reference List: 14


Electricityis fundamental to contemporary life, at home and workplaces. Some ofthe organization’s employees such as electricians, engineers,electronic technicians and power line staffs among other do work withelectricity directly. Other employees such as office staffs and salespeople work with electricity indirectly. Generally, due to the factthat electricity has become a familiar part of our life, many of ushave not given much consideration on how much our working depends onupon the availability source of electricity. More significantly, manyof the employees tend to overlook the hazard posed by electricity andfail to treat electricity with respect it deserves (Chen,et al 2012).

Forlong, electricity has been considered as a severe workplace perilwhereby employees are exposed to electrical shocks, burns,explosions, fires and electrocution. For example, in the year 1999,almost 278 workers lost their lives from electrocution at theirworkplace which accounted for more than 5 percent of all on-the-jobfatalities during that year (Rausand,2014).In general, electrocution accidents are fatal and organizations inthe process tend to lose the most productive employees. On the otherhand, non-fatal shocks may result to severe and permanent burns tothe humans’ internal tissues, heart injury and skin damagesdepending on the intensity and length of the shock. As well, in thecase of electric shocks caused by faulty electrical equipment withinthe workplace, it may cause other related damages. They may includefalling from the ladders, scaffolding, and other working surfaces.Other harms that may be caused include collapse, nausea,unconsciousness, muscle spasms and palpitations (Rausand,2014).

Despitethe fact that electric shocks are generated from dynamic electricity,it is significant for the firms to note the risks that are posed bythe static electricity within the workplaces. Formation of the staticelectricity tends to occur after two surfaces rub each other hencecreating electric charges. Electric shock may be peril in case flashpoint takes place near a flammable gas or liquid. In such, the staticelectricity may cause explosions or fires (Goetsch,2011).

Itis relevant to note that, a hostile working environment, on the otherhand, may act as a peril. By hostile workplace, this means that aworkplace that exposes the electrical equipment and facilities tohigher chances of damage and reduced lifespan. Within suchenvironment, there is a condition that exposes the electricalequipment to the mechanical damages, dust, heat, corrosive chemicals,vibration, and corrosion. Generally, electricity tends to posegreater risks to the employees within the workplaces. For suchreasons, organizations need to implement various control measures settowards the reduction of electrical risks (Sliney&amp Mellerio, 2013).

Fourexamples of the Electric Hazards

Electricalhazards or accidents tend to cause serious burn injuries which mayoccur at home or workplaces. According to statistics, annually thereare workplaces electrical hazards that cause serious injuries toorganization’s assets and property which results in death andinjuries (Chen,et al 2012). However,there are various reasons to why such electric hazard occurs but inmost cases, most of them are attributed to the aspect of negligenceand prevention of them requires more attention and care. In addition,organizations may prevent electric hazards by making sure that theycomply with electric legislations and have Electric Risk Assessmentcompleted hence minimizing the potential risks via identification ofthe possible risks within the workplaces.

Actually,industrial damages that have been resulting from electrical hazardshave become prevalent. Such costs take place in factories and,organizations that are located in developing and developed nations.The causes of electric hazards have been the failure of complyingwith safe working conditions, lack of proper training as well asirrelevant supervision process. However, various companies haveexecuted significant steps towards limiting the risks and damagescaused by the incidents. Despite this, electric hazards have beennoted to be a danger to the lives of many workers within factories(Chen,et al 2012).

Manyorganizations today have considered the manner in which they wouldautomate various processes and operations, but the fact is thataccidents are still occurring due to issues on poor wiring process orold wiring. Hence, this creates the implication that there needs moreto be done with the aim of reducing and preventing the electricalhazards. This part will take a review of four cases around the globewhere electrical hazards caused accidents within the factories. Inevery case, the paper will explore the causes, resulting from damagesand the preventive measures.

NewBorn Babies Died In Electric Fire at Maternity Hospital in Iraq Causes

Thereare electric fires that are quite common in the Iraq capital which iscaused by poor wiring and shoddy maintenance. In this case, a firetore all through the maternity ward of one of the largest hospitalsin Baghdad whereby it caused the death of twelve premature babies(Arango, Hassan &amp Al-Jawoshy, 2016). Only seven babies were savedfrom the electric fire and later transferred to another ward in Iraqcapital. According to a statement that was made by the HealthMinistry’s spokesman, the blaze that was experienced in thehospital was caused by the electrical fault at midnight (Arango,Hassan &amp Al-Jawoshy, 2016). Due to the incident, securityservices had to seal off the location to undertake the forensicaudit. Investigations into the causes of the electric damages wereimmediately launched. It was evident that the accident was attributedto the shoddy maintenance of electric equipment and poor wiring. Inother good terms, the accident was attributed to electrical hazard,with failures of good wiring process and proper maintenance of theelectrical equipment (Arango, Hassan &amp Al-Jawoshy, 2016).

Despitethis being the immediate cause, the accident was caused by otherunderlying factors. One of these factors related to lack of fireextinguishers within the organization. The organization had failed inensuring that there were working electrical fire extinguishers thatwere in operation since large part involved the use of electricity(Arango, Hassan &amp Al-Jawoshy, 2016). Another underlying factor tothe case was the lack of proper training on ways to maintain theelectric equipment. It was the first time the hospital hadexperienced such a major tragedy. However, despite this, the safetysecurity department in the organization ought to have considered suchan incident as fatal and pass on fire training especially on safetymeasures (Chenet al 2012). Thestaffs ought to have been provided with protocols and procedures thatthey would follow to contain such incidents, but there was thefailure on the organization’s part to have offered procedures andpolicies. In addition, within the organization, there was no workingpolicy as well as hazard assessment supervisors still failed inconducting risk assessments.


Asaforementioned, twelve newborn babies died from the accident. Otherseven newborn babies were however saved and transferred to otherwards in other facilities. Generally, the hospital’s image andreputation were tarnished since the incident was noted to haveemerged from the negligence of the hospital’s management (Arango,Hassan &amp Al-Jawoshy, 2016).


Electricalhazards similar to this case could be easily eliminated andprevented. For situations that are unavoidable, however,organizations must place efforts to maintain and keep thestakeholders safe. To avoid such accidents to occur again, thehospital needs first to maintain the old electrical equipment andensure that there is the proper installation of electrical gadgets.As well, the hospital needs to install fire extinguishers gadgets andfire exit doors. Other relevant measures would be setting clearsafety policies while working with any gadget that uses electricity(Floyd&amp Floyd, 2014). Suchpolicies and procedures may act as a guide for employees working inthe hospital and make sure that they are not exposed to any harm.Regular maintenance of the electrical equipment in the hospital mustbe considered to ensure that such accidents do not take place onceagain. Despite all these, workers within the hospital must be trainedon fire safety and be skilled in equipment maintenance (Brauer,2016).

ElectricalShort Circuit which caused fire in an Indian Train Causes

Accordingto this case, more than thirty people died in the incident after afire ripped through a train coach. The train served an overnightexpress where it was carrying sleeping passengers traveling from NewDelhi to the South City of Chennai (Agence France- Presse, 2012).Anelectrical short circuit caused this incident. The electrical shortcircuit was attributed as the main cause of the tragedy within thelong distance servicer which took place in the earlier morning hours.The electrical short circuit in the train could have been causedafter a wire coating was stripped or a metal passed through thewires. Wiring coating could have caused generation of sparks whichresulted to burning of the combustible materials hence damaging theappliances and other fixtures that were connected to the wires(Hardison,et al 2014).

Shortcircuit in the train could have occurred between the live wire andthe neutral wire, but generally, any two wires could have caused theshort circuit. For instance, if the neutral wire could have come intocontact with the earth wire, it was possible for such connection tohave caused a short circuit. On the other hand, a short circuit mayhave occurred in the network after a large current flow in one ormore phases. The short circuit may have been a low resistanceconnection that was experienced between two conductors that supplyelectrical power to any train circuit. Due to large current flow,there could have been an effect that resulted in &quotshort&quotwhich could have damaged the source of energy. In case the fuse wasset to the supply circuit in the train, it would have performed itsjob and blow out hence opening the circuit and stopping the currentflow (Agence France- Presse, 2012).

Figure1: Showing Fire in an Indian Train that was caused by Short Circuit

Theshort circuit may have been caused in the train power system whichcould have resulted from abnormal conditions. The cause may beinternal or external. Internal effects are caused by the breakdown ofthe transmission lines or equipment due to deterioration of theinsulation in the transformer. Such tragedy may have been caused byold insulation, improper installation, and inadequate design. On theother case, external effects cause short circuit with issues such asfailure of insulation due to the overload of equipment which causesexcess heating or due to mechanical damages by the public (Floyd&amp Floyd, 2014).

Afterthe occurrence of short circuit, current within the system tends toincrease at abnormal high value while system voltage tends to declineto lower values. There is heavy current caused by a short circuitwhich results in excess heating leading to fire or explosion. Due tothe mentioned detrimental effect resulting from short circuits, it isrelevant to disconnect the faulty section if noted and restoring thenormal voltage and the current conditions immediately (Agence France-Presse, 2012).


TheIndian train tragedy which resulted from a short circuit caused thedeath of thirty-two people. As well, there was damage of the traincarriage. This may as well have impacted the image of the serviceprovider among the targeted audiences.


Firstly,the organization may consider insulation of the conductors which tendto be color coded. The organization may utilize insulators such asrubber, plastic, mica and glass and be used to coat metals or anyother conductor that assist in stopping or reducing the flow of theelectrical currents. Such would have assisted in the prevention ofelectrical short circuit, fire, and shocks. For effectiveness, theinsulation process needed to be suitable for the voltage utilized bythe train. As well, there was the need to maintain condition such asenvironmental and temperature factors related to oil, corrosive fumesand any other substance that had chances of causing failure to theinsulator (Floyd&amp Floyd, 2014).

Beforethe organization considered connecting the electrical equipment toany power source, it was relevant to ensure that there was insulationof the exposed wires. In addition, it was worth to consider theprocess of guarding which could incorporate enclosing and locating ofthe electric equipment to ensure that there was no accidental contactwith the live parts (Floyd&amp Floyd, 2014).It was the responsibilities of the train management to placeconspicuous signs and be posted at the entry to the electrical roomswhile guarding the location to ensure that people were alert toelectrical hazards and forbidding entry of unauthorized persons.

PhilippineHotel Electric Fire Causes

Thehotel fire was thought to have been as a result of faulty electricalwiring. Each of the Philippines hotel rooms had fire alarms, but theywere reported not to be in a good working condition. The braze in thehotel broke out at around 4:30 am in the morning while there werealmost one hundred and seventy people who were staying in the sixstorey Hotel. The fire started on the third floor of the building,and there was a lethal smoke that filled the entire building. Theguests were unable to leave their rooms since the windows wereblocked by thick metal grills (Bahr,2014).According to the City Fire Chief, it was said that the hotel hadviolated various safety regulations after it was inspected. Therewere no clear grounds to why the hotel was allowed to operate despitebeing reported that it had violated the regulation with grilledwindows which did not offer a fire escape. However, the blame wasplaced upon the city officials for their lax with the building andfire regulations.


Itwas reported that more than 75 died in the incident. As well, a largepart of the property was destroyed by the fire flames while thereputation of the city officials’ fire inspection department wastarnished by the members of the public.


Itis not only the organization’s power grid that may have beenantiquated. The wiring process that was inside the rooms may have aswell been out of date hence straining the supply on the ever-increasing collection of electricity, lighting, and electronics(Bahr,2014). Generally,the circuits that were older in the building were not designed tohave the capacity of powering various gadgets of the modern life.Some of the signs related to strain were quite obvious such as powerstrips which may have sprouted from a single outlet and tangle ofextension cords. The hotel ought to have protected the building bysetting protection box. Circuit breaker panels could have worked finefor the hotel (Bahr,2014).

ElectricalFire under Pavement in London Causes

Firecrews were contacted after it was noted that there was smoke that wascoming out of an inspection cover in Holborn. The blaze was under thecontrol of London Fire Brigade. The crew had to work overnight to putoff the fire and ensure that it did not spread to other building inthe area. The fire was caused by wiring issues (BBC News, 2015).

Figure2: Image Showing Electric Fire under Pavement in London


Businessowners lost large amount since they were unable to open theirbusiness due to lack of electricity. Crews were forced to workdiligently to ensure that they excavated and isolated the damagedparts of the networks. More than 1,800 customers were left indarkness after the power out surge (BBC News, 2015).


Thepower company needs to consider how it would maintain the serviceduct that is used for carrying the electrical cables beneath thestreet. In addition, it is worth for them to maintain the networkwith very high powered cables which may reduce the hazard in thefuture (Bahr,2014).


Electricalhazards pose dangers to the environment. Such electrical hazards mayoccur at workplaces, in power transmission departments and in movingparts such as a train. The hazard may result from an unprotectedwires, wires that have dangerous surfaces, unmaintained wiring amongothers. The common electrical hazards are such as electrical shocks,electrical short circuits, and electric fires. Such hazard causesserious harm among them death. Hence, organizations need to identifyand prevent them. For the case of train short circuit, theorganization may have considered utilizing the servicing of anelectrician who would have installed the fault protection devicessuch as the fuse and circuit breakers. These devices would have aidedin shutting down the electrical current in case the system detectedany surge. The devices are designed in a manner that only allows acertain level of electrical current. In case the level is exceeded,the circuit tends to trip hence short circuit, or the overload doesnot cause a fire or any other damage. In addition, ground wires incombination with circuit breakers are used in the prevention of otherelectrical hazards such as electrical shocks and arcs.


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Arango,T., Hassan, F., &amp Al-Jawoshy, O., (2016 Aug). AFire Happened In The New Born Unit, And Your Baby Died.Retrieved on 12thNovember 2016, from:http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/11/world/middleeast/baghdad-hospital-fire.html?_r=0

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