Every year in the United States, workplace electrical incidents result in more than 300 deaths and 3,500 injuries. While electrical hazards are not the leading cause of on-the-job injuries and fatalities, they are disproportionately fatal and costly with 1 in 13 electrical injuries resulting in death.
According to OSHA, electrical incidents cause an average of 13 days away from work and nearly one fatality every day. Electrical incidents rank 6th among all causes of work related deaths in the U.S. Over the past decade, 46,000 workers were injured from on the job electrical hazards and a worker is severely hurt every 30 minutes from electricity.
Electrocution is not the only injury employees can get from electrical hazards. Additional injuries include burns, hearing loss, lacerations and other health issues. An especially dangerous event is what’s called an Arc Flash. An arc flash is the light and heat produced by an electric arc supplied with sufficient electrical energy to cause substantial damage, harm, fire, or injury. Electrical arcs experience negative resistance, which causes the electrical resistance to decrease as the arc temperature increases.
Electrical hazards cause more than 300 deaths and 4,000 injuries in the workplace each year. Think about that for a minute. Think of the lives affected and the cost of such injuries and loss of human life.
Every year in the United States, workplace electrical incidents result in more than 300 deaths and 3,500 injuries. While electrical hazards are not the leading cause of on-the-job injuries and fatalities, they are disproportionately fatal and costly. For every 13 electrical injuries – a worker dies. Most of these electrical related fatalities and injuries could be prevented. Awareness of workplace electrical hazards and knowledge of best practices are critical to reducing these staggering statistics.
We know that electricity is essential to our way of life. At work, some employees -- engineers, electricians, electronic technicians, and power line workers work directly with electricity. Others work with it indirectly. Perhaps because it has become such a familiar part of our daily life, we don't give much thought to how much our work depends on a reliable source of electricity. More importantly, we tend to overlook the hazards electricity poses and fail to treat it with the respect it deserves.
As we look ahead to May, which is National Electrical Safety Month, I’d like to share some information that may spark some reaction.