Electric Shock Drowning (ESD)

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The safety of electrical equipment installed and used in the vicinity of marinas, boatyards and floating buildings is a challenge. This typically requires designing, installing, operating and maintaining electrical equipment that balances inherently safe levels of equipment operation against nuisance interruptions of the applicable electrical infrastructure.

This electrical equipment is typically subjected to harsh environmental conditions that can result in deterioration and other long term maintenance concerns. Electric Shock Drowning (ESD) can directly electrocute a swimmer in the water or cause a level of paralysis that ultimately results in drowning due to the electrical equipment that is installed in this places. Reports in the mainstream media indicate this is a concern in the vicinity of public and private marinas, boatyards and floating buildings.

Current project - Marina Risk Reduction

This project is intended to address ESD in public and private marinas and related facilities from all common and plausible sources. The Marina Shock Hazard Research Planning Workshop held in August 2015 suggested possible sources of ESD hazards from both shore based and non-shore based sources, and this latest effort hopes to provide focused guidance on the optimum solution(s) using a risk based approach. The intent is to consider and assess ALL realistic solutions whether they are technical, awareness (including human behavior) or regulatory focused. Further, relief is sought for this hazard using a comprehensive risk focus rather than a focus on only technical or other narrow singular solutions. ESD is obviously a serious concern to the safety community, and there is a strong desire to identify and prioritize steps that will provide meaningful impact towards its mitigation. It is hoped that the deliverables from this proposed project will provide a roadmap to promote substantive solutions.

Research goal: The overall goal of this project is to provide a comprehensive risk assessment and associated action plan to prevent, mitigate and/or eliminate the harmful effects of ESD in the vicinity of marinas, boatyards and floating buildings.

Download the project summary. (PDF)

Three NFPA codes play a prominent role in marina and boat safety
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