Protection against electric shocks and electrical fires. An electric shock is the pathophysiological effect of an electric current through the human body. Its passage affects essentially the muscular, circulatory and respiratory functions and sometimes results in serious burns. The degree of danger for the victim is a function of the magnitude of the current, the parts of the body through which the current passes, and the duration of current flow. Electrical fires are caused by overloads, short circuits and earth leakage currents, but also by electric arcs in cables and connections.
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This part of IEC provides basic guidance on the effects of shock current on human beings and livestock. For a given current path through the human body, the danger to persons depends mainly on the magnitude and duration of the current flow. The necessary criterion is the admissible limit of touch voltage i. The relationship between current and voltage is not linear because the impedance of the human body varies with the touch voltage, and data on this relationship is therefore required.
The different parts of the human body such as the skin, blood, muscles, other tissues and joints present to the electric current a certain impedance composed of resistive and capacitive components.
The values of body impedance depend on a number of factors and, in particular, on current path, on touch voltage, duration of current flow, frequency, degree of moisture of the skin, surface area of contact, pressure exerted and temperature. The impedance values indicated in this document result from a close examination of the experimental results available from measurements carried out principally on corpses and on some living persons.
Knowledge of the effects of alternating current is primarily based on the findings related to the effects of current at frequencies of 50 Hz or 60 Hz which are the most common in electrical installations.
The values given are, however, deemed applicable over the frequency range from 15 Hz to Hz, threshold values at the limits of this range being higher than those at 50 Hz or 60 Hz.
Principally the risk of ventricular fibrillation is considered to be the main mechanism of death of fatal electrical accidents.
Accidents with direct current are much less frequent than would be expected from the number of DC applications, and fatal electrical accidents occur only under very unfavourable conditions, for example, in mines. This is partly due to the fact that with direct current, the letgo of parts gripped is less difficult and that for shock durations longer than the period of the cardiac cycle, the threshold of ventricular fibrillation is considerably higher than for alternating current.
It is not intended for use by manufacturers or certification bodies. One of the responsibilities of a technical committee is, wherever applicable, to make use of basic safety publications in the preparation of its publications. The requirements, test methods or test conditions of this basic safety publication will not apply unless specifically referred to or included in the relevant publications. Multi-user access to over 3, medical device standards, regulations, expert commentaries and other documents.
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Skin body , Safety, Electrical safety, Heart, Electric current, Alternating current, Test equipment, Direct current, Electrical measurement, Electrical resistance, Electric shocks, Time, Testing conditions, Livestock, Electrical impedance, Physiological effects human body , Human body.
Effects of current on human beings and livestock - Part 1: General aspects
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BS IEC 60479-1:2018