Westar Energy Tips of the Trade

Basic Facts About Electricity


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Call 811. Know what's below. Call before you dig.
Or call Westar Energy at
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For emergencies,
call 911 and Westar Energy
at 800-383-1183.

Circuits and Conductors

Electricity travels in closed circuits, usually through a conductor. A conductor is a substance with little resistance to the flow of energy. Metal equipment, roofs, steps on a ladder, and even your body are potential conductors.

How Do You Get Shocked?

Electrical shock occurs when a person’s body contacts an electrical circuit and provides a path for electricity to leave the circuit and travel to the ground. On the job site, this can happen when:

  • You contact one wire of an energized circuit and the ground at the same time or,
  • You touch equipment that’s in contact with an energized wire while you’re also in contact with the ground.

What Happens When You Get Shocked?

Lower voltages (and lower amperages) can cause muscle spasms that inhibit your ability to ‘let go’ of the object you’re touching that’s completing the circuit. The degree of injury increases with every second your body is conducting electricity.

Higher voltages (and higher amperages) can throw you clear, interrupting the circuit, but, injury or death can still result from the electrical shock or fall.

There is a risk of serious injury or death anytime you come into contact with an energized circuit, whether low or high voltage. That’s why it’s important to stay away from all energized conductors, thus avoiding contact with any electricity.

Would You Like to Know More?

Additional overhead and digging guidelines, case studies, instructional videos, and training tools can all be found, at no charge to you, on Westar Energy’s e-SMARTworkers website.

Do you like this email series? Do you find the information helpful? We’d like to know. Please reply to this email and tell us what you think, or let us know what topics you’d like to see in future emails.

For more contractor safety information,
visit westarsafety.com/contractors.

 

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