Electrical burns on the job
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Electrical burns on the job

If you get electrocuted at work but survive, you may be left with lifelong disabilities from the electrical burns. Some damage may be temporary, but permanent damage is common to major organs, tissues and the skin.

Injuries from electrical burns stem from accidentally coming into contact with the exposed parts of appliances, wiring or even lightning bolts.

Many appliance and wiring injuries occur on the job when workers fail to shut off the power supply before attempting repairs on machinery. Sometimes occupational accidents occur due to electric arcs from power lines. Electric arcs are created when bursts of electricity jump from one conductor of electricity to another. They typically involve bright flashes.

Those at high risk of electrocution include the following:

-- Electricians and utility workers who routinely work around electrical currents.

-- Those who install electrical components without the proper training.

-- Those who primarily work outdoors, like farmers or migrant workers.

-- Anyone who remains outside when there is thunder and lightning.

Depending on how much current shocked a person and for how long, the damage could be minor or catastrophic. Electrical shocks may cause severe muscle contractions that proceed falls. The fall injuries alone can be life-threatening depending on the distance a worker falls. Other injuries can be disorientation, headaches, weakness, tingling or numbness and visible burns.

Sometimes electrical current disrupts the body's functions, causing unconsciousness, deadly heart arrhythmias, seizures, respiratory failure and cardiac arrest.

You have a right to seek compensation for complications from and the effects of electrical burns and shocks that occur in on-the-job settings.

Source: Mount Sinai Hospital, "Electrical Burns," accessed June 03, 2016

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