Measures To Minimize Hazardous Electrical Shocks On board


An electrical shock is the worst of all kinds of accidents on board ships. Author Anish lists out precautionary steps to minimize such on board risks for an article published in MarineInsight.

Reason for an electrical shock

Electrical wires and connections are present everywhere on ships and it is important to ensure that everyone is protected from getting any kind of electrical shock.

Moreover, it is said that a person on board a ship gets an electrical shock mainly due to its negligence and unawareness. This can be addressed by proper awareness. 

Issues related to electrical systems

Following are the main issues faced onboard ships related to electrical systems: 

  • Electrical problem due to equipment failure – leading to indirect contact 
  • Electrical problem – leading to direct contact
  • Explosion
  • Fire, flare up etc.

Important precautionary measures 

Let’s take a look on a few important points and precautionary measures to understand how you can save yourself and others from an electrical shock on ships.

Steps to minimize the risk of an electrical shock on board

  1. Check all electrical motors, wiring, and switches, for abnormal sounds, variation in temperatures, and loose connections.
  2. Ensure that all electrical connections are inside the panel box so that no one can touch them accidentally.
  3. In accommodation area multiple socket plugs shouldn’t be used.
  4. Turn off the breaker before starting any work on an electrical system.
  5. Use placards and notice boards as much as possible to inform others about the ongoing work to avoid accidental starts.
  6. Double check the electrical tools like portable drills for any loose wires before attempting any job.
  7. Always wear protective clothing, rubber gloves, rubber knee pads and safety shoes to avoid risk of shock.
  8. Use electrically insulated handle tools for working or checking electrical systems.
  9. Before working, remove jewellery wrist bands and other conductive items.
  10. When working or removing multiple wires, tape off all but the one wire you are working on.
  11. Try as much as possible not to work on a live system and even if you do so be a professional and work carefully with full concentration.
  12. During working in a group or pair, organise a tool box meeting and discuss the procedure, risk and hazards of the job in hand.
  13. Don’t work without knowing it. Ask for assistance.
  14. Always think about your own safety and safety of fellow persons while carrying out any electrical work.
  15. Treat all wires as live wires. That mean if someone see are bare wire, he/she should check voltage with a meter before touching it
  16. For Breaker off, take out the fuse and lock the breaker. Tag “Man On Work” on the breaker, check the terminal you want to work with a good meter to make sure the right breaker is switched off.

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Source: Marine Insight


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