Resistance and the Human Body

  • The body has a natural defense system (skin). Dry skin resistance can be 100,000 ohms or more depending on several factors including skin thickness, dryness levels, calluses.
    • Do whatever you can to raise your body's resistance.
    • The key to survival is to decrease exposure.
    • The typical body has a contact resistance of 500 ohms at the point of contact with the electrical source.
    • The body has an internal resistance as low as 100 ohms.
  • Water and perspiration (sweat and sodium chloride spell danger) can make a human body more conductive.
    • Wet floors make this condition worse.
    • Wet floors present slip, trip and fall hazards, as well.
    • Good housekeeping has many benefits.
  • Contact points with energized sources and the human body should be avoided.
    • Electric current starts to break down the resistance of skin, increasing current exposure.
    • Wearing jewelry and/or watches may increase the amount of current one's body is exposed to.
    • Rings, watches and other jewelry might "catch" and cause injury.
    • Some electricians place a hand in their pocket to help prevent current from traveling through the chest and heart.


Figure 1: Wet Floor Sign



Figure 2: Electrician with One Hand in Pocket