Posted by FWL_Engineer, refering to annual electrocutions in France:
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:
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.
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......
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.
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.
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.