Unleashing the limitless possibilities of electricity in technological applications requires proper caution and care. Handling vast amounts of energy—in any form— comes with significant hazards. When energy is released in an undesired way, the results can be devastating. One only needs to consider some manifestations of unwanted energy release in nature such as lightning strikes or earthquakes, to realize that handling energy requires due care.
Fortunately, the manifestation of energy in the form of electricity can be controlled — and thus can be made safe — relatively easily. Since its discovery, numerous methods and systems have been developed for harnessing electricity. This has enabled the benefits of electricity in everyday use and avoided its hazards.
This Application Note, part of the Good Practice Guide and first published in October 2016, has been updated now.
The first section presents the most important and common hazards associated with the use of electricity, along with some basic concepts on hazard, risk, and risk reduction.
The second section gives an overview of common and standard design solutions, with a focus on the safety aspects of the particular techniques cited.
The Highlights from this publication:
- Handling vast amounts of energy—in any form—comes with significant hazards.
- Fortunately, energy in the form of electricity can be controlled—and thus can be made safe—relatively easily.
- Appropriate application of standards, legislation and good practices enables engineers to create safe electrical applications, without going through the hazards of trial and error.