Electricians are given special training to do their work. Besides learning skills, training is also meant to ensure the technicians’ safety. The work of an electrician is hazardous, which is why even the most highly qualified and experienced electricians go through a number of on-job accidents that can cause severe injuries or even death.
If an individual suffers an injury on the job, he or she is entitled to monetary reimbursement or work-injury benefits in order to make sure that the injury does not lead to financial damage. These rights, however, are difficult to understand and so is the process of exercising them.
Electrical Injury Risks
There are categories of risks that electricians and electrical workers face. These categories are defined by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These categories can be divided into the following:
Death by Electrical Shock
Electrical shocks experienced by workers can prove fatal if workers are exposed to high electric current or exposed to it for too long. If a worker is exposed to a current greater than 75mA, he or she may experience unsuccessful heartbeat which may result in death within just a few minutes, unless a defibrillator is used. OSHA has cautioned that 75mA is not too much current and warned that a small power drill may use 30 times as much current.
Injuries by Electrical Shock
OSHA has indicated that non-fatal electric shocks often occur to the hands. Injuries as such happen when workers come into contact with electrical equipment or exposed wire. Workers who experience electrical shock require immediate medical attention to prevent severe permanent harm.
Electrical currents can also result in burns that result from direct contact with current or thermal burns from blasts and arc flashes. When strong, high amperage currents travel through the air, arc flashes happen. As a result of an arc flash, the temperature can rise to 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The burns caused by arc flashes can be deadly.
Electrical workers can also experience injuries as a result of falling from ladders or other elevated areas. Sometimes, being exposed to currents of high voltage can cause an electrical worker to fly through the air and fall. In such cases, the fall itself is the secondary cause of injury.
The aforementioned are the most common causes of death and injuries among electricians. As a result of these injuries, electricians may suffer from repetitive stress or overexertion injuries to the back, knees, fingers and hands. These overexertion injuries may be caused by doing the following tasks:
- When a worker uses force to operate a tool or execute a task
- When a worker works while being bent or stooped
- Working with hands, wrists, elbows or shoulders positioned awkwardly
- Retaining a certain position for a long period of time
- When holding vibrating tools
- Standing on hard surfaces with pressure continuously being applied to the body
An injury resulting from overexertion can be agonizing just like injuries resulting from any other accidents. Injuries as such can bring the career of an electrician to an end and lead their life towards discomfort. Workers who suffer an injury while at the job can get compensated through workers’ compensation. Get in touch with a lawyer in order to file a workers’ compensation claim.
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