Of all the accidents at work it’s possible to fall victim of, few induce the level of fear as much as an accident with regards to electrical safety.
Figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that approximately 1000 electrical safety-related accidents at work are reported over the course of an average year.
In Great Britain, the main law concerning electrical safety at work is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The Act states that employers are responsible for ensuring health and safety of both employees and the public, if the public are at risk from work activities involving electricity.
When it comes to electrical injuries at work, the concern tends to be the level of voltage. After all, it stands to reason that the higher the volts, the greater the damage. The most common injuries incurred from electrical accidents are –
Electric shock: any voltage that is at least 50 volts strong can cause a current to flow through the human body, this flow can block electrical signals between the brain and the muscles which can cause numerous concerning effects, including:
– Preventing the heart from beating properly
– Causing the person to be unable to breathe properly
– Random muscle spasms
The final outcome is dependant on the number of volts travelling through the current, the parts of the body involved, how long contact is maintained, and other factors such as how damp the person is.
Electrical burns: these are suffered by the tissue which surrounds an electrical current as it passes through the human body. Deep burns usually require substantial surgery and can be permanently debilitating. They are usually caused by high voltage or prolonged contact.
Thermal burns: these workplace injuries occur when an electrical machine overheats and explodes, harming and burning an employee in the process. Further complications can be brought about by the circumstances. For example, if the victim is working at height they may suffer further injuries from a fall.
Loss of muscle control: following an electric shock, the muscle spasms endured can sometimes be powerful enough to break bones and dislocate joints. The lack of control also means the victim does not have the means of escaping the work accident.
Accident Advice Helpline can offer professional guidance to anyone who thinks they have a claim for work accident compensation.
There’s no obligation to continue after initial consultation, but Accident Advice Helpline will be there every step of the way if you do. To discuss your claim with a member of our expert team dial 0800 689 0500 now.
Date Published: December 9, 2013
Author: David Brown