Electrocution Injuries and Electrical Accidents

Electrical accidents and electrocution injuries can occur anywhere electricity is present.

Electrical injuries can occur by accidental contact with exposed parts of electrical appliances or wiring, contact with high-voltage power lines, or electrical machinery at work.

The effects on the human body of an electric current can range from mild tingling to burns to death, depending on the strength of the current and the duration of the contact.

There are three ways an electric current can cause injury: 1) cardiac arrest due to the effect of the electricity on the heart; 2) damage to muscles, nerves, and vital organs resulting from a current passing through the body; and 3) burns from contact with the electrical source.

Electrocution injuries are often fatal. But, even non-fatal electrical accidents can cause long-term or permanent nerve and other damage. In fact, the damage to the human body from an electrocution injury can result in years of medical bills.

Avoiding Electrocution Injuries

The best way to prevent electrical injuries is to follow common-sense safety precautions.

For example, always read the safety warnings that come with any piece of electrical equipment. Never use an electrical device in a manner that is inconsistent with its instructions. Always turn off electricity at the source. And never work alone when working with electrical wires.

Electricity is not something with which to fool around.  Obtain the help of a licensed electrician if you’re not confident in your own level of expertise.

Other household electrical safety precautions include: Avoid plugging too many appliances into the same outlet.  Never remove the ground pin on a three-prong plug, as it could lead to electrical shock. Plugs should fit securely into their outlet. Don’t force a plug into a socket it doesn’t easily fit.

Ensure electrical cords are in good condition (no fraying or cracking) and be sure their rating matches their intended use. Extension cords, just like outlets, should never be overloaded.

Make sure to use light bulbs with the correct wattage for the fixture. Using a bulb with a wattage rating that exceeds the recommendation for the lamp can cause a fire.

Finally, any appliance that causes a fuse to blow should be repaired or replaced. Also, take care not to use electrical appliances near water.

Electrocution Injuries Outside the Home

Despite all the safety warnings and precautions, electrical injuries and accidents still occur. In fact, electrocution injuries are one of the most common work-related injuries.

Most work-related electrical accidents result from one or a combination of three factors. These are: unsafe equipment or equipment not properly installed, an unsafe work environment, or unsafe work practices.

You can prevent electrical accidents by ensuring your equipment and work environment are safe and you are following safe work practices.

Federal and state law requires employers to provide a safe workplace. If unsafe working conditions are present, a worker may report the violation to their employer, or to the federal or state Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

When unsafe working conditions place your life in imminent danger, you may have the right to refuse to work if all of the following conditions exist:

  • there is a reasonable, good faith belief that a hazard in the workplace poses an imminent and substantial risk of serious physical injury or death, and
  • the employer will not fix the dangerous condition, and
  • the immediacy of the danger does not allow enough time to report the situation to OSHA or the appropriate state agency, and
  • the worker did not have a reasonable alternative.

A worker can refuse to return to work until the employer eliminates the danger or investigates and determines that no imminent danger exists.  Your employer may not legally punish you for reporting an unsafe working condition or refusing to work if all the above conditions exist.

A Lawyer Can Help

Electrical accidents and electrocution injuries resulting from the negligence of another party may entitle the victim to compensation.

Electrocution injuries can be extremely debilitating and can leave a victim with life-long side effects, including loss of use of the injured body part and other serious complications. A personal injury lawyer will work to understand the full impact of your injuries and seek fair compensation for your loss of wages and earning capacity, pain and suffering, and any other damages available in your case.

If you need a personal injury attorney knowledgeable about electrocution injuries, Morowitz Law can help.

Visit Morowitz Law – Electrocution Injury Lawyer for more information.

Further Reading:

What Happens to Your Body When You Get Electrocuted