BS IEC 60479-1:2018 Effects of current on human beings and livestock. General aspects

BS IEC 60479-1:2018

Effects of current on human beings and livestock. General aspects

Status : Current   Published : January 2019



What is this standard about?

This part of IEC 60479 provides basic guidance on the effects of shock current on human beings and livestock.

For a given current path through the human body, the danger to persons depends mainly on the magnitude and duration of the current flow. However, the time/current zones specified in the following clauses are, in many cases, not directly applicable in practice for designing measures of protection against electrical shock. The necessary criterion is the admissible limit of touch voltage (i.e. the product of the current through the body called touch current and the body impedance) as a function of time. The relationship between current and voltage is not linear because the impedance of the human body varies with the touch voltage, and data on this relationship is therefore required. The different parts of the human body (such as the skin, blood, muscles, other tissues and joints) present to the electric current a certain impedance composed of resistive and capacitive components.

The values of body impedance depend on a number of factors and, in particular, on current path, on touch voltage, duration of current flow, frequency, degree of moisture of the skin, surface area of contact, pressure exerted and temperature.

The impedance values indicated in this document result from a close examination of the experimental results available from measurements carried out principally on corpses and on some living persons.

Knowledge of the effects of alternating current is primarily based on the findings related to the effects of current at frequencies of 50 Hz or 60 Hz which are the most common in electrical installations. The values given are, however, deemed applicable over the frequency range from 15 Hz to 100 Hz, threshold values at the limits of this range being higher than those at 50 Hz or 60 Hz. Principally the risk of ventricular fibrillation is considered to be the main mechanism of death of fatal electrical accidents.

Accidents with direct current are much less frequent than would be expected from the number of DC applications, and fatal electrical accidents occur only under very unfavourable conditions, for example, in mines. This is partly due to the fact that with direct current, the letgo of parts gripped is less difficult and that for shock durations longer than the period of the cardiac cycle, the threshold of ventricular fibrillation is considerably higher than for alternating current.

This basic safety publication is primarily intended for use by technical committees in the preparation of standards in accordance with the principles laid down in IEC Guide 104 and lSO/lEC Guide 51. It is not intended for use by manufacturers or certification bodies.

One of the responsibilities of a technical committee is, wherever applicable, to make use of basic safety publications in the preparation of its publications. The requirements, test methods or test conditions of this basic safety publication will not apply unless specifically referred to or included in the relevant publications.

Standard NumberBS IEC 60479-1:2018
TitleEffects of current on human beings and livestock. General aspects
Publication Date07 January 2019
Normative References(Required to achieve compliance to this standard)ISO/IEC Guide 51:2014, IEC GUIDE 104:2010
Informative References(Provided for Information)IEC TR 60479-3:1998, IEC 60601-1, IEC 60479 (all parts), IEC 60990, IEC 60479-2
ReplacesPD IEC/TS 60479-1:2005+A1:2016
International RelationshipsIEC 60479-1:2018
Draft Superseded By18/30376582 DC
DescriptorsSkin (body), Safety, Electrical safety, Heart, Electric current, Alternating current, Test equipment, Direct current, Electrical measurement, Electrical resistance, Electric shocks, Time, Testing conditions, Livestock, Electrical impedance, Physiological effects (human body), Human body
ISBN978 0 539 00726 8
File Size3.26 MB

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