Safe use of electricity to be included in school curriculum

By Ifham Nizam

Plans are underway to include ‘Electrical Safety’ in school text books from 2015 as deaths due to electrocution has been on the rise. More than 180 Lankans were killed due to electrocution last year, a senior official said.

Director General of the Electricity regulator, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), Damitha Kumarasinghe told The Island that they had found that it would be possible to reduce deaths from electrocution through the inclusion of safety measures in school text books.

He said that in 2011 alone 155 people had been electrocuted and the trend was increasing at an alarming rate.

Though there had been no deaths by electrocution in schools, their inspections had revealed that most electrical systems in schools were not satisfactory and they had therefore already discussed the matter with Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena.

Kumarasinghe said that the PUCSL, with the assistance of the Ceylon Electricity Board, Lanka Electricity Company (LECO) and Police, was planning to reduce the number of deaths due to electrocution in 2016.

He added that between 35 and 40 per cent of deaths could have been avoided if trip switches had been installed.

Illegal electricity tapping, laying of electrical traps for wild animals and unsafe wiring, especially at funerals, were among the major causes of electrocution, Kumarasinghe said. "Most of the victims were between 20 and 40 years of age. More than 80 per cent of the victims were men, while the Kandy and Ampara Districts topped the list."

Kumrasinghe said that most of the incidents had occurred during the festive seasons in April and December.

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