The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps track of statistics related to electric injuries, and the numbers indicate that 97 percent of the one million electricians in North America have suffered some kind of electric shock or injury. You do not have to be in this line of work, though, to receive a similar injury. You could have been performing a simple maintenance chore or changing a light bulb in the office when you received a shock because of faulty wiring or touching equipment that had not been de-energized.
OSHA keeps close tabs on protecting workers from such injuries, and employers are required to adhere to general rules for controlling hazardous energy. Learn more about electric shock injuries.
The level of severity
The severity of electric shock injury depends on various factors: the type of current (direct or alternating), voltage, amperage and the body’s ability to resist the electrical onslaught. Other factors include the duration of time the body stays in contact with the current, as well as the path the current takes.
Those most at risk
First responders, utility and telecommunication company workers, and those in mass transit or industrial manufacturing are most at risk for electric shock. Since electricity is invisible and noiseless, workers may be in danger without realizing it. If a short circuit should occur, for example, it might trigger an arc flash event during which large amounts of energy could be generated along with intense temperatures hotter than the sun’s surface. The clothing of anyone in the vicinity could catch fire. The blast could throw workers across the room, and those who survive the event could suffer severe burns.
Since you were on the job when you suffered the electric shock, you are encouraged to seek legal help for your injury as soon as you can. You may be eligible for workers’ compensation. An experienced attorney can also go to work on your behalf to secure the full and fair compensation to which you may be entitled.