Electric Shock Hazards
April 19, 2018
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), between 2015 and 2016 the number of electrical fatalities in the workplace increased by 15%. Data confirms that more than one-half of the fatalities occur in the construction industry and that younger, less experienced workers are between are more likely to be critically injured than older workers.
A person is likely to experience an electrical shock when they come into contact with a defective, unguarded or improperly guarded/grounded electrical source. When the contact occurs, electrical current flows through the body, which is what causes the electric shock reaction. Depending on how severe an electric shock-related injury is people can experience different symptoms as well as a range of medical consequences.
Some of the other most common injuries and side effects related to electrical shock exposure include:
- Burns of varying degrees;
- Injuries from being thrown clear of the electrical source, including internal and spinal injuries;
- Broken bones
- Tissue, muscle and/or nerve destruction, and:
- Cardiac arrest
If someone is shocked in the workplace and exhibits unconsciousness, confusion, seizures, difficulty breathing, noticeable burns to the skin, is more than 20 weeks pregnant or is experiencing any kind of tingling, numbness, paralysis, hearing, vision, or speech problems after getting an electric shock it’s critical to call 9-1-1 and get emergency medical attention right away.
Employers can take many steps to protect workers from electric shock, injury and death. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has numerous electrical safety requirements that employers are federally required to comply with. Some examples of these requirements are:
- Providing comprehensive electrical safety training, as well as teaching workers how to safely work with all equipment and ground (stabilize) electrical sources;
- Give electrical protective equipment to workers as need be and dependent on what each specific job requires, and:
- Educate all workers on how to identify electrical hazards (like lack of ground-fault protection, contact with power lines, etc.) and urge immediate reporting
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Individuals Injured in the Workplace
If you have suffered a workplace injury, please contact our Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation attorneys at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Reading and Lancaster, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.