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January 20, 2020
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Electrical Safety: "The Freezing Effect"

Electrical current is measured in amps or milliamps.

The following table illustrates the effects of electrical voltage on the body.


An electrical shock can cause the body's muscles to contract or "freeze."

This effect makes it difficult for a person to pull free of the energized circuit.

There also may be situations where electrical current excites extensor muscles, causing a person to be thrown away from the power source.

If a person is "frozen" to a live electrical power source:

1. shut off the power immediately, if possible.

2. Use boards, poles, or sticks made of non-conducting materials to safely push or pull the person away from the power source.

Do not attempt to touch the person or knock them from the contact with any part of your body.

This may result in electrical shock, or even worse, becoming part of the circuit.

Source: Joe Mlynek is president of Progressive Safety Services LLC, Gates Mills, OH:, and content creation expert for Safety Made Simple Inc., Olathe, KS;



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Safety Tip of the Week is edited by Managing Editor Tucker Scharfenberg and published each Monday by Grain Journal, Decatur, IL

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