Over the years, we've learned what's safe or not, and the codes have been adjusted to account to some of those 'what-if' situations. Luckily, they don't happen very often, but there's a definite reason why the code have been updated over the years...that's why things like a stove and dryer now require a 4-wire connection.
FWIW, the ground should NEVER have current on it in normal operations. It is there as an alternate path that can trip the breaker or blow the fuse should a fault occur. Current is NORMAL on a neutral, even though it is connected to ground at the panel.