Research Papers

Risk Assessment Methodology for Electric-Current Induced Drowning Accidents

[+] Author and Article Information
Bilal M. Ayyub

Fellow ASME Center for Technology and Systems Management, University of Maryland,
College Park, MD 20742
e-mail: ba@umd.edu

T. S. Koko

Reliability and Risk, Lloyd’s Register Applied Technology Group,
1888 Brunswick Street, Suite 400,Halifax, NS B3J 3J8, Canada
e-mail: tamunoiyala.koko@lr.org

Andrew Nyakaana Blair

Graduate School, University of Maryland University College,
3501 University Blvd. East, Adelphi, MD 20783
e-mail: amanblair@yahoo.com e-mail

U. O. Akpan

Lloyd’s Register Applied Technology Group,
1888 Brunswick Street, Suite 400,Halifax, NS, B3J 3J8Canada
e-mail: Unyime.akpan@lr.org

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received June 17, 2015; final manuscript received November 25, 2015; published online July 1, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Michael Beer.

ASME J. Risk Uncertainty Part B 2(3), 031004 (Jul 01, 2016) (14 pages) Paper No: RISK-15-1077; doi: 10.1115/1.4032308 History: Received June 17, 2015; Accepted December 01, 2015

This paper presents a methodology to identify hazards associated with electric-induced drowning and electric shocks for swimmers around docks, houseboats, and other boats in both freshwater and saltwater; assesses scenarios and risks associated with these hazards; and provides information needed to communicate results of the study to the public. The methodology consists of system definition, hazard identification, scenario assessment, risk assessment including likelihood and consequences in the form of health effects, and identification of potential hazard barriers and mitigations. Critical scenarios were identified and assessed according to weighting criteria, and the results were prioritized and used to define the parametric analysis ranges that needed to be performed using simulation. Event and fault trees (FTs) were developed for the critical scenarios. Shock safety criteria were defined by reviewing standards, such as the IEEE Standard for Shock Safety and the IEC Standard for Shock Safety. These results were used to determine critical voltage differential and current thresholds.

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Fig. 1

Body impedance as function of touch voltage and contact area (adapted from [14])

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Fig. 2

Four-electrode impedance measurement technique

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Fig. 3

Typical equivalent circuit models. (a) For electrical response of human body subject to low-frequency AC [16]. (b) For estimating current density near the heart (adapted from [14]). (c) Thevenin

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Fig. 4

Impedance and resistance models: (a) Electrical-body impedance model and (b) Internal body resistance

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Fig. 5

Body current versus duration thresholds for 60 Hz AC current producing ventricular fibrillation (adapted from [14])

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Fig. 6

Body impedance as a function of applied voltage (adapted from [19])

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Fig. 7

Attributes and states of electric-current-induced drowning scenarios

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Fig. 8

Event tree for electric-current-induced boating accident

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Fig. 9

FT for electric-current-induced boating accident: (a) at dock and (b) offshore




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