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#140864 - 05/17/04 04:51 PM Electrical safety in Europe  
pauluk  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
Thread for discussion of electrical safety in various European countries, prompted by comments in New U.K. color code thread.


[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 05-17-2004).]


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#140865 - 05/17/04 05:14 PM Re: Electrical safety in Europe  
pauluk  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
Posted by FWL_Engineer, refering to annual electrocutions in France:
Quote
That 1231 is incorrect..it should have been 121

Now that sounds a more likely figure, and much more reasonable compared to our own fatality rate in the U.K.

Posted by djk:
Quote
The UK has one unique difference. The original system of domestic wiring was so impractical that it had to be completely replaced during the 1950s and 1960s.

That is confirmed by looking at many houses around the country. In my own small burgh, you will find plenty of places built around the 1930s, but only a few with any wiring and fittings that old. Most were pretty obviously rewired fully in the 1950s to cater for the then-growing use of TVs, kitchen appliances, and other gadgets.

djk:
Quote
Almost all accidents here are now caused by the "darwin factor".. There's not a lot you can do if someone insists on doing bad DIY work or driving a tractor through 20kV powerlines.

Have to agree with that. Like the calls for all bathroom light fittings to be fully enclosed so that somebody won't fiddle with them while in the bath. Sorry, but it's very hard to protect someone who's stupid enough to stick his fingers in a light socket while standing in a tub of water......

FWL_Engineer:
Quote

I have been intrigued by this so looked into it a bit further today, the greater French death rate is purely Construction site deaths apparently. They still insist on using 230V power tools onsite rather than the UK 110V Centre Tap system (55V+55V).
I don't want to tar all builders with the same brush, but in my experience many of them (at least in the U.K.) have no respect for power whatsoever. They throw their tools into the back of the van, tug cords out from under piles of debris so that they get damaged, and then continue to use power tools with cords so beat up that a short or contact with bare conductor is inevitable.

Quote
The Man I spoke to today at the HSE said the French have a better domestic death rate than the UK, but this is down to the lower incidence of DIY in France than the UK.

This does pose some follow-up questions. Bear in mind that 380V is pretty prevalent in French homes. Now, either that makes French homeowners much more careful or reticent about DIY work, or it makes the British IEE seem rather over-fussy with the rules about the odd case where 3-phase is found in residential systems.

Quote
One area the UK leads Europe is in Power Transmission Deaths. These are Deaths of people comming into contact with Overhead lines, Grid transmission equipment and Railways, apparently these figures are seperate from all other figures right across Europe.

The HSE Guy said that despite efforts by the Railways and the National Grid et al to keep people from trespassing in dangerous areas, it would appear to be an almost uniquely British problem in Europe.

Sadly, I'd say that the U.K. probably leads Europe with the dubious distinction of having the biggest problem of assorted "yobs" and other no-goods deliberately trying to sabotage railway lines and cause other havoc. [Linked Image]


#140866 - 05/17/04 06:36 PM Re: Electrical safety in Europe  
FWL_Engineer  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 50
Barnet, Hertfordshire, UK
Here are those images I mentioned in the other thread..as they have more bearing here than there :

In the first table you will see the figures for the years 1992 to 2003 for all fatal accidents in Great Britain. In this instance, Great Britain being England, Scotland, Wales, The Isle of Man, The Channel Islands and the Scilly Isles, and encompasses an average population of 56,451,830 people for the 10 year period. Those highlighted in the Red bands are those deaths attributed to electrocution by direct contact. These figures do not include deaths on Railways and Power Transmission Systems.

[Linked Image]

In figure 2 below, we have the figures for all European States for the year ending December 31st 2003. The figures above each column is the average death rates for workers in member states per 1000 workers. These figures relate directly to construction sites only. Unfortunately I do not have the data yet in a similar fashion for electrocution deaths broken down by locality of incident. That should be available soon.

[Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by FWL_Engineer (edited 05-17-2004).]

[This message has been edited by FWL_Engineer (edited 05-17-2004).]


#140867 - 05/18/04 04:39 AM Re: Electrical safety in Europe  
pauluk  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
Quote
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Fatal deaths in Great Britain

Er...... Are there any non-fatal deaths? [Linked Image]

Every fatality is a tragedy for the person involved and his family, of course, but I think these figures show that on the whole the chances of being killed in an accident at work are fairly low. And as DJK pointed out, we can't be quite sure what proportion of these deaths are attributable to the Darwin Factor anyway; it's practically impossible to regulate against sheer stupidity.


#140868 - 05/18/04 07:58 AM Re: Electrical safety in Europe  
Texas_Ranger  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,392
Vienna, Austria
Quote
I don't want to tar all builders with the same brush, but in my experience many of them (at least in the U.K.) have no respect for power whatsoever. They throw their tools into the back of the van, tug cords out from under piles of debris so that they get damaged, and then continue to use power tools with cords so beat up that a short or contact with bare conductor is inevitable.


Second that. A few years ago our house nearly burnt down from a few stupid carpenters who did some work in the attic. They had an extension cord that was twisted and taped in several places, then they left it plugged in overnight, laying on the wood floor beneath a sheet of cardboard... thanks heaven the lady one floor below called my uncle who came with a helper and a few buckets of water just in time to put the yet small fire out. The fire department came some time later with 7 trucks and compalined heavily that they couldn't find a fire...

On the very same site I saw 2 Polish drywall guys who used the worst stuff I've ever seen on-site. They had the cheapest of household grade Schuko extension cords, the weak plug body broken and repaired with paper masking tape and some similar stuff...


#140869 - 05/18/04 03:43 PM Re: Electrical safety in Europe  
FWL_Engineer  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 50
Barnet, Hertfordshire, UK
Paul..do you know, I hadn't even noticed it said FATAL DEATHS....isn't that just like beaurcratic pen pushers to state the blooming obvious..

Clears something up for me though.. if I ever have a serious accident, I want a NON FATAL death!! [Linked Image]


#140870 - 05/18/04 04:49 PM Re: Electrical safety in Europe  
pauluk  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
The country-by-country chart at first seems to confirm what many of us would expect: Slightly higher rates in countries such as Spain and Portugal, low rates in what we consider safety-conscious countries like Sweden and Germany. (I'm at risk of sounding like one of those annoying British tourists who stereotype every other nation! [Linked Image]).

Looking at it a little more closely, however, that bar graph is for the year 2003 only. It takes only one particularly accident-free year or one big accident which kills several people to completely skew the figures away from the average.

Does Austria have a higher-than-average accident rate? That graph seems to indicate that, yet I'm sure that when it comes to safety most of us (rightly or wrongly) would probably group Austria with countries such as Switzerland and Germany rather than those of the Iberian peninsular.

Just looking at the year-by-year statistics there for Britain shows how taking one year out of context of the average trend could be very misleading.

I do wonder, therefore, whether that second chart is really of that much value taken on its own.


#140871 - 05/19/04 07:36 AM Re: Electrical safety in Europe  
FWL_Engineer  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 50
Barnet, Hertfordshire, UK
Paul, as I understand the figures in the second chart, they are calculated by adding up the averages for the previous 10 years, then averaging that as it illiminates a lot of the ups and downs caused by localised incidents..according to the beaurocrats anyway!!

To although they say they are the figures for 2003, they are a calculated average rather than an absolute figure specific to that year.


#140872 - 05/19/04 08:25 AM Re: Electrical safety in Europe  
C-H  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,497
Stockholm, Sweden
I've been in situations where I just wanted to die a non-lethal death and be resurrected in some other place... Usually associated with a very red face [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by C-H (edited 05-19-2004).]


#140873 - 05/19/04 08:28 AM Re: Electrical safety in Europe  
C-H  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,497
Stockholm, Sweden
It's kind of hard for 1.4 people to die [Linked Image]


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