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Controlling Electrical Hazards - Health & Safety

Effects of Electric Current in the Human Body


A severe shock can cause considerably more damage to the body than is visible. For example, a person may suffer internal hemorrhages and destruction of tissues, nerves, and muscles. In addition, shock is often only the beginning in a chain of events. The final injury may well be from a fall, cuts, burns, or broken bones.

Effects of Electric Current in the Human Body
1 MilliamperePerception level. Just a faint tingle.
5 MilliamperesSlight shock felt; not painful but disturbing.

Average individual can let go. However, strong involuntary reactions to shocks in this range can lead to injuries.
6-25 Milliamperes (women)Painful shock, muscular control is lost.
9-30 Milliamperes (men) This is called the freezing current or "let-go" range.
50-150 MilliamperesExtreme pain, respiratory arrest, severe muscular contractions.*
Individual cannot let go. Death is possible.
1,000-4,300 MilliamperesVentricular fibrillation. (The rhythmic pumping action of the heart ceases.) Muscular contraction and nerve damage occur. Death is most likely.
10,000-MilliamperesCardiac arrest, severe burns and probable death.
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