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Reducing electrocution on the job

Pennsylvania employees may benefit from learning more about electrocution accidents at the workplace. Data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics over the past two decades indicates that improvements in electrical safety at the workplace have reduced the rate of electrical injuries suffered on the job. Between 1992 and 2010, the number of electrical injuries decreased by more than 50 percent. The country realized larger declines in workplace fatalities and injuries associated with electrocution from 2006 to 2010.

Statistics indicate that the largest number of electrocution fatalities, approximately 44 percent, were attributable to contact with overhead power lines. The second-most likely cause of an electrocution fatality at work was contact with wiring, transformers or other electrical components. These workers accounted for 27 percent of the fatalities and routinely repaired, installed and performed maintenance on electrical systems. Employee deaths from contact with electrical current of tools, machines, light fixtures and appliances accounted for 17 percent of the total.

Even though the number of employee deaths from electrocution has decreased, the relative proportion of the aforementioned causes of death have remained relatively consistent since 1992. The number of injuries caused by electrocution declined by 60 percent since 1992. The two most common causes for nonfatal electrical injuries were contact with transformers, wiring and electrical components and contact with electrical current from an appliance, tool, or machine. The relative proportions of these two leading causes of electrical injuries have also been consistent since 1992.

Employees injured by a construction accident may benefit from obtaining legal counsel. Lawyers may be equipped to protect employee rights and help injured workers to gain wage benefits and insurance coverage for adequate medical treatment. Lawyers might also investigate the incident in an attempt to determine if anyone can be held culpable for the resulting damages.

Source: Electrical Safety Foundation International, "Electrical Safety Then and Now", November 29, 2014

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