What Do I Need To Know About Electricity?
What do I need to know about electricity?
All electrical systems have the potential to cause harm. Electricity can be either “static” or “dynamic.” Dynamic electricity is the uniform motion of electrons through a conductor (this is known as electric current). Conductors are materials that allow the movement of electricity through it. Most metals are conductors. The human body is also a conductor. This document is about dynamic electricity.
Note: Static electricity is an accumulation of charge on surfaces as a result of contact and friction with another surface. This contact/friction causes an accumulation of electrons on one surface and a deficiency of electrons on the other surface.
Electric current cannot exist without an unbroken path to and from the conductor. Electricity will form a “path” or “loop”. When you plug in a device (e.g., a power tool), the electricity takes the easiest path from the plug-in to the tool, and back to the power source. This is also known as creating or completing an electrical circuit.
Why is it so important to work safely with or near electricity?
The voltage of the electricity and the available electrical current in regular businesses and homes has enough power to cause death by electrocution. Even changing a light bulb without unplugging the lamp can be hazardous because coming in contact with the “hot”, “energized” or “live” part of the socket could kill a person.