The National Institutes of Health reports approximately 1,000 people die in the United States each year because of electric shock. Many electrocutions happen at the workplace, especially industrial work sites. These electrocutions can span from office workers using old extension cords to construction workers being struck by lightning.
The National Institute for Occupations Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports many workers are aware that the principal danger posed by electricity is that of electrocution, but few really understand just how minute a quantity of electrical energy is required for electrocution. The current drawn from a tiny 7.5 watt, 120-volt lamp, passed from hand to hand or hand to foot across the chest is enough to cause an electrocution.
NIOSH further reports the number of people who incorrectly believe a normal household current is not lethal or that power lines are insulated and do not pose a hazard is alarming. Electrocutions may result from contact with an innocent appearing broken light bulb or as lethal as an overhead power line.
The physical injuries caused by electrocution can include:
- Nerve damage through arms, legs and fingers
- Muscle injury
- Loss of limbs
- Respiratory arrest
- Tissue destruction and blood clots
- Damage to internal organs
- Cardiac arrest or heart attacks
- Extreme pain
As exposure levels break 16 milliamps, an individual loses the ability to let go of the source of the shock. As a result, the victim maintains contact with the electrical flow and damage continues to occur. If exposure levels of 20milliamps occur, a worker will suffer respiratory paralysis and death.
Smaller shocks can cause involuntary muscle movement causing secondary injuries. For example, a shock from a shorting extension cord may cause someone to fall from a tall ladder or injure themselves with a power tool.
The costs associated with an electrocution injury can be great.
Those costs can pile up and can often include
- Emergency medical care
- Ongoing physical therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Medical equipment
- Prosthetics to replace lost limbs
- Lost wages due to the inability to continue the same job
If you or a loved one have been the victim of an electrocution, allow an experienced attorney to help.
After an electrocution on the job, seeking compensation can be intimidating. The Nigam Law Firm understands that you’re facing a difficult situation, and will guide you through the process ahead. Contact The Nigam Law Firm, today to discuss the details of your situation.