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Welding - Electrical Safety : OSH Answers Use Of Elcb In Welding Machine

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Welding - Electrical Safety : OSH Answers use of elcb in welding machine

Welding - Electrical Safety : OSH Answers

Electric Shock

The human body conducts electricity. Even low currents may cause severe health effects. Spasms, burns, muscle paralysis, or death can result depending on the amount of the current flowing through the body, the route it takes, and the duration of exposure.

Welding - Electrical Safety : OSH Answers use of elcb in welding machine

The National institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that standard voltages produce currents passing through a human body in the milliampere (mA) range (1,000 mA=1 Amp). Estimated effects of 60 Hz AC currents which pass through the chest are shown in Table 1.

Estimated Effects of 60 Hz AC Currents

1 mA

Barely perceptible

16 mA

Maximum current an average man can grasp and “let go”

20 mA

Paralysis of respiratory muscles

100 mA

Ventricular fibrillation threshold

2 Amps

Cardiac standstill and internal organ damage

15/20 Amps

Common fuse or breaker opens circuit*

*Contact with 20 milliamps of current can be fatal. As a frame of reference, a common household circuit breaker may be rated at 15, 20, or 30 amps.

Completion of Circuit through the Body

  • If a person touches a live conductor, current may flow through the body to the ground and cause a shock.
  • A person may get an electric shock hazard if incidentally the hands or other part of the body create a bridge between the welding supply (e.g. the live welding electrode) and the welding return (e.g., workpiece) of the welding circuit/equipment.
  • Increased electrical contact with the ground increases the risk of shock.
  • Small shocks could surprise you and cause you to slip and fall, possibly from a high place.

Completion of an electric circuit through ground



Welding - Electrical Safety : OSH Answers

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