In small doses, electric shocks do not cause injury; curious minds might even find them intriguing. If a car door gives you a mild electrical shock when you go to close it, it does not hurt very much. Electricity is also the reason that the Van de Graaff generator is one of the most popular exhibits at any children’s science museum. In higher amounts, though, electric shocks can cause serious injury or even be fatal. When electrocution accidents are caused by dangerous conditions in workplaces and other public places, the property owner may be legally liable for causing the accident. In fact, many electrocution accidents can be avoided if workers and employers exercise proper caution and follow safety protocols.
Electrical Hazards at Work
In the United States, about 4,000 people suffer injuries because of electrical hazards in the workplace each year. About 300 people per year die from electrocution accidents at work.
Electric shocks are not the only type of accident that can result from electrical hazards in the workplace. They can also cause fires and explosions.
Electrical Accidents are Preventable
Many electrical accidents can be prevented if employers make efforts to keep electrical equipment safe and high voltage areas isolated and if workers are careful with electricity. Here are some ways to avoid electrical accidents:
- Workplaces should display signs warning workers and visitors of electrical hazards.
- Hurrying is a major cause of workplace electrocution accidents. Workers should not rush to finish their work quickly when working with electricity. Likewise, employers should not put time pressure on workers when they are working in the presence of electrical hazards.
- Proper safety training is key when there are electrical hazards in the workplace. In some occupations that require working with dangerous levels of electricity, knowledge of electricity safety protocols is part of the requirements for certification. Even for workers who are knowledgeable about electrical hazard safety, and especially for those who have not gone through a certification process that requires safety standards but who may be working in hazardous areas, ongoing training about electrical hazards and proper safety measures is key.
- Anyone who might be exposed to high levels of electricity, whether a worker or a visitor, should wear proper protective gear.
- Turn off all electrical equipment before a person touches it, for example, to clean it. If possible, you should wait a few minutes after turning it off and before touching it.
- Because aluminum is a conductor or electricity, you should not use aluminum ladders near electrical wires or electrical equipment. Instead, use a fiberglass ladder, since fiberglass is an insulator.
- If you will be using electrical equipment, make sure that the area is dry. Do not use electrical equipment near water, since water can conduct electricity.
Contact Case Barnett About Electrocution Accidents
If you have been injured in an accident involving electrical hazards, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Contact Case Barnett in Costa Mesa, California for a consultation about your case.