TODAY’S SAFETY FACT: It takes as little as 50 milliamps to stop the heart. You must always be alert as to where your hands are when working on electricity. If the hand placement allows the path of electricity to cross your heart with one hand on live electricity and one hand that taps into ground, then you become the path to ground. This is why I place my left hand in my pocket when I’m tying in a circuit onto a circuit breaker. It’s also wise to look away prior to energizing the circuit breaker for the first time. There is a danger of an arc flash (another future topic) that could spew molten copper in the event that the breaker is faulty.
I wish for you a stress-free, smooth work week so far. Are you planning for the weekend already? I’m just thinking about the opportunity to sleep in on the weekends. Anything else is just the cherry on top. 🙂 For today’s blog post, I intend to discuss another safety topic on some of the dangers of electricity. Before I proceed even further with the topic on electrical hazards, I might as well share with you my latest Amazon promotions for my e-books. My first children’s e-book entitled, “Not All Girls Play With Dolls” will be available from August 31st to September 7th on Amazon within the United Kingdom market. I was able to add my edited teen version entitled, “Construction Tales: A Young Person’s Guide To Accomplish Anything In Life” to the Kindle Countdown Deal from August 31st to September 7th is also in the United Kingdom market. My first adult e-book entitled, “Construction Tales: Volume I: A Woman’s Journey To Become An Electrician” is now also scheduled to be in the Kindle Countdown Deal, within the United States market, from September 8th-15th. As a reminder, the promotions only applies to the e-book versions. I’m also truly thrilled to be sharing my new release of the “I’m My Own Sugar Daddy” online e-store through Spring. I’m working on making it also available on Shopify, Printful, and other e-commerce platforms. I have two designs to choose from: 1) Feisty Lady Trio 2) Sugar Momma Bed. Check out my two design concepts for the product line along with the Spring store links down below this safety blog post. As I have shared before, my business partner and I are in the process of launching my new website, “Safety First Training Academy” that can be found at http://www.safetyfirstllc.net/. As of now, the website is still under construction and we are in the preparation process. I’m going to add some construction safety related topics to this blog as well. The purpose of adding them here is that they will also be available on the Safety First Training Academy website. I’m looking forward to the future success with our various business ventures!!
For this blog post, I’m going to discuss the some of the dangers of electricity. For today, I opted to discuss the importance of using a GFCI strip while using power tools when at work or home. However, I’m aware that, since this subject is in my wheelhouse, I can use my home run topic and branch circuit out to a variety of different topics (see what I did there?) while losing track of time. I know that I also want to touch briefly on arc blasts since that is an interesting topic. I will share an arc blast video in this post. In a subsequent post, I shall go more into depth as to how they happen. For now, we shall cover the importance of a GFCI strip. The modern power tool protects you since they are double insulated. Additionally, they also have a clutch these days to keep you from getting hung up while drilling surfaces such as concrete. Ask any old timer who has been in the business for at least 25-years about the old, heavy duty masonry drills with no clutch!! As a first year apprentice, I remember having the job of holding the ends of the extension cord at eye level. My journeyman had the masonry drill wedged between the wall, himself, and a ladder. The importance of this drill positioning strategy would be soon discovered not long after he started. When the masonry bit got bound up in the deck, the power tool would wildly continue until the power source was removed. Boy, I realized the importance of my role the first time the drill bit got bound up!! The poor guy went for a ride for a few seconds until I killed it!! That experience initially put fear in my heart!! I had to push down those fears since learning the business meant more to me than the fear. I was up on an 8ft ladder drilling through a wall with a 3/4″ x 12″ drill bit. I almost broke my wrist when the bit bound up while in the hole. I think my screams of agony were heard in the next town over! I learned real quick to put pressure on but not too much and hold tight!! Nowadays, you can penetrate a concrete wall with a battery powered masonry power tool. Let’s move on and discuss the importance of using GFCI strips on the job. Prior to each use of your power tool, visually inspect the tool for any form of damage or leaking grease. Additionally, it is very important to make sure that the power tool cord is not worn, torn, ripped, or frayed. This also applies to the extension cord being used. If you see any of these poor conditions while using the power tool, remove them from service immediately. You may want to know what is a GFCI? GFCI stands for ground fault circuit interrupter. It’s designed to essentially monitor the flow of electricity, open up the circuit if it detects any unusual paths to ground, and de-energize the GFCI strip instantaneously.
Envision in your mind that an electrical circuit flows is a loop- so to speak. If there is a difference in potential, the GFCI is designed to pick up the problem within 1/40 of a second. Once detected, it opens up the circuit and stops the flow of electricity for the entire GFCI strip. The difference in potential is basically a malfunction that causes electricity to leak to ground. This malfunction can be caused by a break in the wire’s insulation, a driven nail that shorts out the wires, rolling over the device with a vehicle, etc. Once the loop’s integrity is compromised, it is no longer contained strictly within the loop. If not quickly prevented, such as the tripping of the GFCI, this is exactly how people get electrocuted. After all, it only takes 50 milliamps to stop the heart if the electricity travels across the heart. The best way for electricity to flow in that direction is to have one left hand on the hot leg and the other right hand on a piece of metal that serves as a means to ground. The electricity always looks for the path to ground. Therefore, the electricity can travel from the left hand to the right hand and pass right over a person’s heart. This is exactly why I place my left hand behind by back in my pocket. I then use my right hand to turn the screwdriver to lock in the circuit breaker into the panel. I’m trying to avoid creating a path where one hand goes to power and the other goes to ground. Electricity, especially in higher voltages such as 277 volts, can cause your muscles to contract and freeze. This can make removing yourself from the path of electricity almost impossible. The best thing you can do, if witnessing your co-worker being hung up on an energized circuit, is to hit them with a piece of wood or something rubberized and knock them off the power source. Wood and rubber both serve as an insulator that protects you from making contact with the person who is energized. There is actually one person in this business with whom I held a stick of 2″ x 4″ just in case he got hung up on the panel that he was working in. I was fully prepared since I perceived him as rather reckless in nature when he was working. He was one guy that I genuinely thought would take me down with him with an arc blast! Of course, that is another story for a later date. Switching gears back to rubber and wood who both serve as insulators. Here is another interesting fact for your mental rolodex. You should stay in your car during a thunder and lightning storm since your rubber tires insulate you from potential electricity leaks to ground. The water on the ground pools into puddles and serves as a conductor. Therefore, you should stay in your car. Besides, walking around during a thunderstorm makes you a sitting duck for when lightning strikes. On the other hand, if you run around in the field with a long, metallic object, you run an even higher risk of getting electrocuted, via a lightning strike. Of course, this is because a metallic object is made out of material that actually conducts electricity- it allows it to freely flow to ground. You serve as the path between the metal and the ground. Just stay in the car! Just avoid those dances with electricity since they are not any fun. Just know that the longer you dance with an energized circuit, the more likely you are to suffer a heart attack and die. Electricity will also cook a person from the inside-out and dehydrate them. Make sure to call an ambulance immediately if you see a person under these circumstances.
By now, you should understand the importance of using a GFCI strip either while completing tasks at work or plugging along on hobbies while at home. After reading this, you may want to use one at all times. They are very important to use while working in construction. When you are on a jobsite, such as a brand-new deck job, you are susceptible to different weather conditions. Weather conditions, such as a rain or snowstorm, can make you even more subjected to being a part of the impromptu path to ground for an electrical supply. If you see a GFCI strip submerged in water, do not assume that the circuit has been de-energized while underwater for the GFCI strip. Visually trace the cord back to the source of power, use gloves, and disconnect the power. Another good thing to do is to periodically test your GFCI strip. In the center of the strip, there is a test and reset button. If it doesn’t immediately trip and reset as designed, then proceed to remove it from service and replace it with another GFCI strip. Be mindful that water also serves as a conductor of electricity. It’s a bad combination if you choose to wade in a body of water that contains stray electricity. There is a high probability of getting electrocuted by wading in the water. Also beware that you cannot have multiple GFCI strips on the same circuit. Adding multiple GFCI’s to a circuit will just cause problems such as constantly shutting down, via opening the circuit. Another key thing to remember when you are installing a home GFCI receptacle is to make sure that you don’t cross the wires of the line side hot leg (black/red/blue) and neutral (white) with the load side of the hot leg and neutral. As per the National Electrical Code (NEC), GFCI receptacles are required in wet locations such as the bathroom and kitchen. All electricians must be able to quickly reference and follow the National Electrical Code. This electrical code is considered the “worst job” that you are allowed to do. In large cities, such as New York City, the NEC has an amended section in the code book that gives out even more rules than the National Electrical Code. This is because local jurisdiction applies that supersedes the national standard of business practices. Crossing the line and load wires will cause the GFCI receptacle to not work properly. The best way to avoid confusion is to test and identify your line side duo and mark them with white tape. You can either write “hot” or “line” for the “home run” group that comes from your main electric service panel. The wires that continue to another location are called the “load” side. If you are using a GFCI circuit breaker in your electrical panel, then you identify the outlet(s) being energized in the kitchen or bathroom as “GFCI protected”. Always put in the effort to lock out/tag out the circuit to ensure that it is de-energized while you are actively changing out the GFCI receptacle. Yes, that is another safety topic to discuss in the near future.
Please take your time and work as safely as possible. Do not allow anyone to force you to do something that you are not comfortable doing. This is especially true if you are an amateur working on electrical components. After all, it is your life that is on the line and not anyone else. I hope you learned something from this blog post topic? If you have any questions on this topic, drop the comment down in the bottom of this blog post. I will answer your question when I get a chance to do so. I’m also open to other safety topic suggestions as well. I thank you for stopping by this safety themed blog post today. Don’t forget to follow me at leslie_m_jasper on Tik Tok or Verbally Disastrous on YouTube. Share your feedback on my content down in the comment section at the bottom of the blog post. If you appreciate listening to podcasts, I encourage you to review my last (8) podcast episodes that are listed down below from The Verbally Disastrous Podcast, via links for Spotify & YouTube down below. If you are into reading on a Kindle, check out my newest short story release that belongs to my Construction Tales-Told By A Woman Kindle Vella Library short story series on Amazon down below. My last short story #11 is entitled, “Juggling Motherhood & Working With The Tools”. This short story covers my life as a widowed, single mother in the era when I juggled both motherhood and my career as a journeywoman electrician. The previous short story is #10 is entitled, “Early Life Lessons & Characters To Meet As An Apprentice”. If anyone has read any of my other previous short stories, let me know your thoughts? Feel free to go ahead and check out the many links for my book #ConstructionTales down below. Now, go back to your list of Wednesday work/school/home chores and then savor that chill time tonight. Have yourself a great morning/afternoon/evening on your side of the globe and a restful or productive day!
“I’m My Own Sugar Daddy” Sugar Momma Bed- Coming Soon To Shopify & Printful:
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Shop “I’m My Own Sugar Daddy” Feisty Lady Trio- on Spring:
Link To Construction Tales: Volume I: A Woman’s Journey To Become An Electrician (Paperback & Kindle) On Amazon:
Link To Construction Tales: A Young Person’s Guide To Accomplish Anything In Life (Paperback & Kindle) On Amazon:
U.S.A.: Use This Link For The Audio Version Of My Book #ConstructionTales On Audible:
United Kingdom: Use This Link For The Audio Version Of My Book #ConstructionTales On Audible:
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VERBALLY DISASTROUS PODCAST EPISODE LINKS:
Here is the link to the Verbally Disastrous Podcast on Spotify:
Verbally Disastrous! Season #1, Episode #43: Part A- Tramping In Cali! on YouTube:
Verbally Disastrous! Season #1, Episode #44: Part B- Tramping In Cali! on YouTube:
Verbally Disastrous! Season #1, Episode #45: Part C- Tramping In Cali! on YouTube:
Verbally Disastrous! Season #2, Episode #46:Early Life Lessons & Characters To Meet As An Apprentice On YouTube:
Verbally Disastrous Podcast! S#2, Ep. #47: Part A- Juggling Motherhood & Working With The Tools on YouTube:
Verbally Disastrous Podcast! S#2, Ep. #48: Part B- Juggling Motherhood & Working With The Tools on YouTube:
Verbally Disastrous Podcast- S#2, Episode #49: Just Released Not All Girls Play With Dolls!! on YouTube:
Verbally Disastrous Podcast- S#2, Episode #50: My First 7 Weeks As A Site Safety Manager on YouTube:
I recently shared my latest short story that has been loaded up to my Construction Tales-Told By A Woman Kindle Vella Library on Amazon. This is short story #11 entitled, “Juggling Motherhood & Working With The Tools”. This short story covers my life as a widowed, single mother in the era when I juggled both motherhood and my career as a journeywoman electrician. I share the various challenges I faced and lessons learned along the way. The previous short story is entitled: #10: “Early Life Lessons & Characters To Meet As An Apprentice”. I decided to write about some life lessons such as guarding your personal information, managing nasty rumors, combating sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and racism. Overall, the construction culture has improved dramatically over the past 25-years. Developing both a thick skin and a sharp tongue are key tools needed to survive various jobsite antics. I hope you learn something from this short story. There are more to come. These short stories are now also available as Verbally Disastrous podcast episodes.
Construction Tales- Told By A Woman: (11) Kindle Vella Short Stories On Amazon!!
The Verbally Disastrous Store On Tee-Spring:
Leslie M. Jasper
-Author And Host of the #VerballyDisastrous podcast now alive on many platforms that include: Acast, Amazon Music, Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Castbox, Deezer, Google Podcasts, I Heart Radio, Listen Notes, Overcast, Pandora Podcasts, Player FM, Pocket Casts, Pod Bean, Podchaser, Podcast Addict, Podcast Gang, Radio Public, Reason, Soundcloud, Soundtrap, Spotify, Stitcher, Tune In, and YouTube.
-The Audio Blog: Verbally Disastrous Podcast And Construction Tales Blog. Now available on: Acast, Amazon Music, Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Castbox, Deezer, Google Podcasts, I Heart Radio, Listen Notes, Overcast, Pandora Podcasts, Player FM, Pocket Casts, Pod Bean, Podchaser, Podcast Addict, Podcast Gang, Radio Public, Reason, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and Tune In.
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