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Ohio State University Extension


Electrical Shock 

Agricultural Tailgate Safety Training for Operators and Supervisors
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Agricultural Safety and Health Program

Objective: To familiarize employees with the hazards of working around electricity.

Trainer’s Note

Workers should understand the power of electricity. Teach workers about the components of electricity and how to deal with hazardous situations. Review the true or false quiz.


Voltage, current, grounding, and resistance are basic electrical terms. Electricity and proper grounding work together for safety.

Voltage is the force that causes the current to flow.
Current (amperage) is the amount of electricity that is flowing.
Resistance is the restriction that slows down or stops the flow of current. The greater the resistance, the less the amount of electrical flow. 
Grounding is a connection between an electrical circuit and the earth. Electricity always seeks a ground or the path of least resistance. 

Electrical shock occurs when a part of the body completes a circuit between conductors or a grounding source. Injury or death is caused by the amount of current and the danger increases with voltage. Avoid contact with electrical equipment, especially in damp or wet areas.

The effect of electrical shock depends on the amount of current flow and the path of the current through the victim’s body. Some people have survived shocks of several thousand volts, while others have been killed by voltages as low as 12. To prevent electrical shock, which can cause several types of injuries, make sure that your body cannot become part of the electrical flow and a path for the current.

An important phase of electrical safety is knowing how to help an electrical shock victim. Often, particularly in cases of low-voltage shock, victims are unable to pull away from the current source. Stop the flow of electricity in the victim’s body. This can be done by disconnecting or de-energizing the circuit. Call for help immediately. Do Not attempt to remove the victim from the source of the current.

Safety Tips:

  • Inspect area for electrical hazards.
  • Don’t overload circuits.
  • Keep electrical equipment away from water and dampness.
  • Be sure to use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) in areas that remain wet. 
  • Always check electrical cords for fraying and signs of wear and defects.
  • Be sure to lock out/tag out switches when working on equipment.
  • Use double insulated equipment and tools and/or three-prong outlets.
  • In case of an electrical fire, shut off the power and use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. Never use water to put out an electrical fire; water used on an electrical fire can result in a fatal shock.

Review the Following Points

  • Voltage, current, and resistance are the basic electrical terms.
  • Electrical shock occurs when a part of the body completes a circuit between conductors.
  • Electricity and proper grounding work together for safety.

About These Modules

The Ag Tailgate Training Series was developed by members of the Agricultural Safety and Health Program in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Revised by Dee Jepsen, State Agricultural Safety Leader, with editing assistance by Lisa Pfeifer and Cody McClain.

True or False Answer Key

  1. T
  2. T
  3. T
  4. T
  5. T

Quiz: Electrical Shock 



True or False?    

1. Never use a hand tool that has the ground prong broken off of the plug-in end. T F
2. Be sure to tag out and lock out equipment switches. T F
3. If using a hand tool and you feel a tingling sensation, the tool should be taken out of service. T F
4. The higher the voltage, the greater the amount of current. T F
5. Resistance to electrical flow is almost zero when the skin is wet. T F






Originally posted May 22, 2019.