Factors that Cause Electrical Shocks
What Causes Shocks
Electricity travels in closed circuits, normally through a conductor. But sometimes a person’s
body — an efficient conductor of electricity — mistakenly becomes part of the electric circuit.
This can cause an electrical shock. Shocks occur when a person’s body completes the current
- both wires of an electric circuit
- one wire of an energized circuit and the ground;
- a metal part that accidentally becomes energized due, for example, to a break in its insulation; or
- another “conductor” that is carrying a current.
Shocks Effect On The Body
An electric shock can result in anything from a slight tingling sensation to immediate cardiac
arrest. The severity depends on the following:
- the amount of current flowing through the body;
- the current’s path through the body;
- the length of time the body remains in the circuit; and
- the current’s frequency.
A severe shock can cause considerably more damage than meets the eye. A victim may suffer
internal hemorrhages and destruction of tissues, nerves, and muscles that aren’t readily visible.
Renal damage also can occur. If you or a coworker receives a shock, seek emergency medical