According to the Center for Disease Control, electrocutions at the work place cause approximately 700 injuries each year. They are caused by a myriad of circumstances, but tragically most are preventable. Electrocutions from even “low voltage” currents, (600 volts or less), can be very dangerous to a persons health. Contact with a “high voltage” current, (601 volts or more, respectively.) can be down right deadly. In this article, we will discuss electrocutions that occur on the job and the effects of such an work injury.
Brief contact with low voltage currents can cause ventricular fibrillation, which means a slow heartbeat that does not produce blood circulation. Brief contact with high voltage can cause severe burning which can lead to other complications such as infections or shock. Often when a high voltage current is contacted, a heart may stop beating altogether, either not beating again until the current is broken or not beat again without cardio pulmonary resuscitation or other cardiovascular intervention
Electrocution is usually the result of negligence on the part of one party or another. Water may be spilled onto a floor, and not mopped up quickly where there are floor outlets, such as in a restaurant. An unknowing fellow employee comes along and completes the circuit when they touch the metal cover. Co-workers may become careless in working with conductive materials such as metal, which may incidentally touch an electric source, and then complete the circuit, resulting in burns or worse
Equipment, electrical outlets or machines may fall into disrepair putting the safety of those who operate them to risk, business owners and employer’s ignoring the risk and liability such equipment may bring.
Besides the causes and consequences of electrocution, there are certain rules, which must be followed as emergency response measures, in case such an accident does occur. Fellow employee’s, (Or at least a supervisor) for the most part are required to be trained in CPR. (Cardio pulmonary resuscitation) Performing CPR in an emergency circumstance such as this can be the difference between life and death.
Employers and owners of businesses are required to inform those employee’s whom may encounter voltages of either a high or a low nature. When equipment is malfunctioning or in need of repair, companies’ are required to use “tag out” measures, which means locking the device and otherwise making it known that is non-functional or at risk for harming someone.
Accidents happen, but it is no excuse for anyone if another person is injured. As you can see from the causes we have discussed, nearly all accidents can be prevented and when they are not it is nothing short of negligence.
If you or a loved one has been injured or worse in an on the job injury or on the premises of a public gathering place, there may be factors which caused the accident that you may not be aware of. Therefore, in such a circumstances it is highly advised that you seek legal counsel. Only a qualified attorney can help you get all the settlement you deserve and put liability where it belongs-on the at fault party.