WORKING WITH ELECTRICITY AND PROTECTING YOUR HEARING
In this assignment I will be discussing and explaining the potential risks and first aid responses when working with electrical equipment and also exploring the physiology of the human ear. I will also cover and discuss legislation’s relating to noise levels/exposure and using electrical equipment in public.
WORKING WITH ELECTRICITY AND ITS RISKS
Electricity is essentially a source of energy that we all use on a daily basis to power mainly technological devices. As a musician we are constantly working with electrical equipment and therefore are at a risk more frequently of receiving an electrical shock.
The main characteristics of electricity are that it is always travelling and with the aim to reach earth as quickly as possible. Sometimes, unfortunately, the quickest route to earth is via a human body and this could potentially be fatal. The severity of the shock depends on the size of the current that passes through the body and the size of the voltage and resistance. The actual shock occurs when part of the body comes into contact with electricity and it uses the body as part of its circuit. This happens because the human body is a very good conductor of electricity meaning an electric current can easily be passed through it.
The common causes of electric shocks are because of faulty equipment and faulty wiring or sockets. There are many other ways in which a shock can happen i.e. mains cables in hazardous places, exposed wires through being cut or damaged, tampering etc. Measuring the severity of an electric shock can be quite difficult as you could get shocked and only feel a slight tingling sensation, but it could also be fatal. The amount of current involved and the length of contact all come into play when determining the severity. For example, if the current was only 1mA (1 miliampre) and the length of contact was for only one second then the effect on the body would be like a small tingling sensation. Whereas if the amount of amps were increased to around 10-20mA but the amount of contact remained the same the body would react completely differently causing muscular contractions. Again if we kept the time amount the same and increased the amps even further to around 100-300mA this can cause ventricular fibrillation (when the heart and lungs are affected causing either a weak, erratic pulse or no pulse at all). With a shock on that scale entrance and exit burns can also happen. We can prevent electric shocks by making sure that certain things are in place: -
Wires are correctly insulated and not exposed
Sockets are professionally installed
Equipment isn’t pulling too much power from the mains
Electrical gear is well away from fluids
Cables are not in any hazardous places
We also have to be aware of the first-aid responses in the case of a shock incident. There are many important factors we must remember when treating a shock victim including: -
Always make sure the power supply is turned off as quickly as possible
Don’t touch the victim
If you need to move the victim use a non conductive material i.e. wood or plastic
In worst case scenario’s check for breathing and if necessary carry out CPR
Phone the emergency services
02284095Outdoor events also need certain requirements in order to prevent shocks from happening as you can come across different hazards when working outside. As it is outside all the equipment must be protected from the weather and dampness. This is usually done by the use of staging areas and marquees. Staging areas can keep the equipment off the ground away from any dampness at the same time as the marquee overhead can keep any rain from falling on it. Another requirement whilst being outdoors is to protect the crowd/audience from any hazards and we can do this with having a number of precautions at work. Firstly, the use of barriers is a good way of sectioning off the crowd from the equipment. With