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Electrical injuries prevention psychological means
  1. I Vasilyeva*
  1. Correspondence Mosenergo Safety Section, 33-3-71, Architect Vlassov st., Moscow 117393, Russian Federation


The problem of electrical injuries is hard to solve. It has strong psychological determinant. Orientation in high voltage conditions has no full value in psychological sense. It has no warning sensor images, activating cautious behaviour like other occupational risks: mechanical force frightens with clatter. Flame frightens with heat. There are fear of heights and fear of deepness. But there is no fear of electrical danger. Orientation in high voltage conditions takes place only at the intellectual level in form of symbolic structures-electrical diagrams. Sense organs don't support orientation, don't lead in decision-making. Quite the opposite, they disorientate in reality, deceive their owner, they don't warn of real danger. It means that safe behaviour of electrician supposed to include a special mental skill to reverse mentality and to focus on constant risk detection. Its psychologically an unordinary skill. It isn't formed spontaneously. But it can be taught during vocational training. We suggest using visual illusions as an effective psychological technique that helps to learn this skill. Visual illusion is the exact model of false perception: perceived images don't represent reality. It can be an adequate symbol of electrical danger. Illusion demonstrates how the mind can deceive, and motivates a person to check and recheck his/her actions. Strong self-checking ability compensates the lack of sensor orientation and helps to prevent injuries.

We use images of various illusions during safety briefing for electricians, in design of classrooms and working space, in self-check training, in warning posters, etc.

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