Electricity is present at virtually every worksite in the United States. While you likely need power to do your job, you also must realize that electricity can be dangerous. If you are not careful when working around electrical currents, you may sustain a serious injury.
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, from 2016 to 2017, there was a 35% increase in workplace electrical injuries. Individuals who sustain an electrical injury on the job spend an average of 10 days away from work. Here are four common types of workplace electrical accidents:
1. Damaged or defective equipment
Drills, jackhammers and other pieces of equipment often require electricity. When cords fray or equipment fails, electrical currents may leave your tools and enter your body, causing a shock.
Electricity may try to jump from one place to another. This often happens when electrical currents run into a broken circuit. If you work with a gapped circuit, electricity may use your body to travel to the ground. As such, if you fail to wear protective gear, you may suffer a serious burn in an arcing accident.
3. Powerline encounters
Powerlines carry electricity to remote places. If you hit an overhead powerline with a ladder, you may suffer electrocution. Unfortunately, not all powerlines are visible. Accordingly, if you do not research and identify buried lines, you may inadvertently encounter them while digging on the job.
Finally, you do not have to electrocute yourself to suffer a serious injury in an electrical accident. If you feel a jolt while working on a ladder or another elevated platform, you may fall. As you likely know, falling can leave you with broken bones, nerve damage and other injuries.
Flash burns and other injuries are common when the human body encounters electrical currents. By understanding the common types of job-related electrical accidents, you can better plan for staying safe when working with or around electricity.