Workers in Pennsylvania who perform jobs around sources of electricity should be mindful of the dangers of electrical shock. In 2014, 156 workers in the United States were killed after they were exposed to unsafe levels of electricity. Electrical shocks from low-voltage sources are usually not serious, but prolonged shocks from high-voltage sources can cause death.
According to a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health manual, a person can be killed when 1/10 of an ampere of electricity moves through their body for just two seconds. If a person is shocked by fewer than 10 milliamperes of electricity, they may lose the ability to control their muscles. A worker who is holding onto a tool or other metal object when they are shocked might be unable to drop the tool due to muscle freezing. When this happens, the worker could end up being exposed to electricity for a longer period of time.
In addition to electrocution and electric shock, an electrical current could injure a worker by causing the worker to fall. High-voltage electricity could also cause burns. Electrical shock can occur when a worker makes direct contact with an energized conductor or when an electrical current moves away from a conductor when the conductor is exposed.
A worker who survived an electrical shock on the job may be left with severe burns and other injuries. An attorney may be able to help a worker to file a workers’ compensation claim after this type of accident. Many injured workers qualify for workers’ compensation benefits that can include medical care and treatment as well as in some cases a percentage of wages lost while the worker is unable to return to the job.