Understanding Electrical Engineering and Safety for Non-Electricians


Electrical engineering is often considered to be a mysterious science, because electricity cannot be seen. However, we are all aware of its existence and usefulness in our daily lives. This workshop aims to take the mystery out of electrical engineering and give a good understanding of the fundamental principles of electricity. While many of us work on electrical systems, we do not fully appreciate the dangers, which we get exposed to when doing so. All it takes is a few simple precautions to avoid getting hurt. This workshop teaches you all about the dangers of careless handling of electrical appliances and prevention of electrical accidents.

This workshop is not meant for electrical engineers and other qualified technicians. It is for those who are not formally trained as electricians but often have to handle and maintain electrical appliances in the course of their work. The participants will have an opportunity to understand how the appliances they see everyday actually function. This workshop will deal with the subject with a minimum of theory while emphasising on the practical, hands-on approach.



  • Receive a certificate of attendance in support of your continuing professional commitment
  • All workshops include the associated hardcopy technical manual
  • Printed workshop handouts
  • Lunch and refreshments
  • Interact and network with workshop attendees and experienced instructors
  • Practical, industry driven content to assist you in your continuing professional development (CPD)
  • Attendees automatically become IDC subscribers and receive exclusive deals and technical content every month


  • Civil, mechanical, chemical, mining engineers, technologists and technicians
  • Managers who are involved with or work with staff and projects in electrical engineering
  • Non-electrical engineers and technicians
  • Non-electrical personnel who want to understand the broader picture
  • Plant and facility engineers
  • Procurement and buying staff
  • Project managers
  • Sales engineers



  • Electricity is a form of energy
  • Static electricity
  • Electrical cells and DC
  • Voltage and current relationship - ohms law
  • Power and energy relationship
  • A simple circuit using DC (battery) source
  • Electromagnetic generators (AC) - relation between magnetism and electricity
  • Speed of rotation and frequency
  • Single phase and 3-phase AC systems - basic facts
  • Phase sequence


  • A modern electrical power system
  • Multiple voltage levels and transformers
  • Substations
  • Your local power utility
  • Measurement of energy usage and tariff 
  • Conductors for carrying current (insulated versus bare)
  • Receiving power from the utility
  • Distribution within a facility
  • Distribution boards
  • Circuit breakers (ACB, MCCB, MCB, ELCB)
  • Isolators and fuses 


  • Electricity as an energy carrier
  • Electricity is clean, easily controlled and instantaneous in action
  • Lighting
  • Heating 
  • Mechanical drive/motion and transportation
  • Common examples of appliances


  • Lighting
  • Light sources and their relative merits
    • Filament lamps
    • Metal halide lamps
    • Fluorescent lamps and CFL
    • Mercury and sodium vapor lamps
    • Starters and their function
  • Electric heaters
    • Resistance heaters
    • Heaters using high frequency methods (example: microwave)
  • Electrical motors
    • Pumps and compressors
    • Cooling and refrigeration
    • Transportation and lifting
  • Control of electrical motors
    • Difference between single phase and 3-phase motors
    • Starting methods
    • Speed-frequency relationship
    • Speed control methods in AC motors
    • Phase reversal and its effect on direction of rotation in 3-phase motors


  • Basic faults in electrical circuits “an open connection or an unwanted connection”
  • Insulation and its importance
  • Reasons for failure
  • Preventing overloads
    • Overload protection by thermal relay, temperature protection etc.
  • Faults due to insulation failure
    • Short circuits
    • Earth faults
  • Short circuit protection
    • Fuses
    • Circuit breakers with magnetic releases
  • Earth fault protection
    • Earth leakage relay
    • Fuses and breakers can protect too
  • Open circuits and reasons
    • Importance of proper terminations
  • Danger of open circuit causing single phase operation of 3-phase motors
    • Why is single-phasing dangerous to motors?
    • Detection by single-phasing relays


  • Why is work needed on electrical circuits?
  • For maintenance
  • For fault finding (troubleshooting)
  • For testing
  • Working with circuit energised (refer to relevant codes)
  • Lamp changing
  • Troubleshooting (measuring current flow or checking for voltage at specific points)
  • Working with circuit switched off
  • Procedures lock-out/tag-out
  • Earthing a circuit for safety
  • Checking that a circuit is dead
  • Voltage tester (neon stick, single and two-lamp testers)
  • Instruments used for troubleshooting
  • Multimeters - what do they measure?
  • Clip-on ammeter
  • Continuity tester
  • Insulation tester


  • Dangers of electricity
    • Electric shock (direct and indirect)
    • Fall caused by electric shock
    • Arc flash and burns
  • Role of PPE in safety
    • Examples of PPEs
  • Avoiding shock danger
    • Safety while doing permitted live work
    • Safety while working on dead circuits
    • Role of protective earthing for safety during normal operation
  • Arc flash dangers
    • Severe burns
    • Avoid live work except as permitted under codes
    • Use insulated tools
    • PPE for live work and for operations such as switching
  • Codes and the need to follow them strictly
    • Australian Wiring Regulations; locally applicable code
  • Electrical accidents and first-aid

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