Kitui Car Wash Worker electrocuted to death

The worker is said to have made a faulty electric connection which led to a short-circuit of the car wash machine leading to the electrocution.

Kitui Car Wash Worker electrocuted to death

A middle-aged man in Mwingi, Kitui County died on Friday after he was electrocuted while operating a high pressure car wash machine.

According to reports, the man, who was an employee at the car wash situated near Mwingi Catholic Church, is said to have made a faulty electric connection which led to a short-circuit of the car wash machine causing the electrocution.

His employer, Mr Dickson Kyalo, confirmed that the man died on the spot, further stating that the rainy weather at the time of the incident worsened the situation. 

Mwingi Central OCPD John Nyamu also confirmed that he had assigned a team to conduct investigations into the incident. He cautioned residents against making unauthorized electric connections.  

Electrical short circuit is listed as a dangerous occurrence in the First Schedule of Kenya's Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) 2007. This schedule lists accidents, dangerous occurrences, or occupational poisoning which has occurred at the workplace where an employer or self-employed person is required to notify the area occupational safety and health officer. 

As the name implies, a short circuit is a condition where electrical flow completes its circuit journey via a shorter distance than is present in the established wiring. By nature, electricity seeks to return to ground, and in a properly functioning circuit, this means that the current flows through the established wiring circuit, back to the service panel, and onward back through the utility wires. However, if the connections within the wiring loosen or break, electrical current may "leak" and flow into other wires or other materials. In this condition, the current instantly seeks to flow back to ground by a shorter pathway. That pathway may very well be through flammable materials or even through a human being, presenting the danger of fire or lethal shock.

Measures to prevent Electric Shock Accidents

The risk associated with electrical appliances can be reduced by taking the following precautions;

  • Do not expose the live part of any electrical appliance or wire.
  • Be sure to ground electrical appliances.
  • Reduce the severity of electric shock accidents by installing circuit breakers.
  • Limit the authorized personnel responsible for handling switches on electrical appliances.
  • Do not touch electrical appliances with wet hands.
  • Be sure to use standard regulation fuses for switches and not to use copper/steel wire.
  • Do not use faulty or malfunctioning electrical products.
  • Do not use wiring with a link in the middle connecting two separate wires.

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