On occasions, we read about tragic instances in Hampton Roads when workers or other individuals are electrocuted. Earlier this year a worker was electrocuted at a Tesla supercharging station in Norfolk.
Electric shocks are not always deadly. On occasions, those who suffer them can be affected by other injuries such as burns and damage to muscles and tissue. While the human body can be an excellent conductor of electric currents, you may go into cardiac arrest if you suffer from an electric shock.
The severity of the injuries those who suffer an electric shock receive depends on a number of factors, namely how fit the victim is, the voltage of electricity, the manner in which the current travels through the body and how quickly medical help is received.
According to the National Institutes of Health, about 1,000 people die in the United States each year from electrocution. More than 30,000 non-fatal shock accidents occur each year.
Here are some of the leading causes of electrocution in America
1 Extension Cords
Extension cords are handy if you want to plug in devices or be able to plug in devices where you like, but they can cause electrical burns and shock if they’re not used carefully. Never use cords with exposed wires that children and pets may chew on. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about half of children’s injuries from extension cords are a result of chewing.
2 Electrical Appliances
Faulty electrical appliances can cause shocks, but the most significant cause is appliances being improperly used. The mere action of touching an electric appliance such as a hair dryer with wet hands can cause a shock. Here are some other important safety tips to keep in mind.
Never operate appliances close to water or while touching faucets or water pipes.
If an appliance has worn plugs or cracked wires, don’t use it.
Never try to fix electrical appliances on your own, even if it appears to be a simple talk.
Unplug appliances if they are not in use.
3 Electrical Outlets
Most electrical outlets are low to the ground and can be easily reached by children. Approximately, 4,000 injuries are associated with electrical outlets are treated in U.S. emergency rooms every year, according to the CPSC, and about one-third of these occur when kids poke metal objects into outlets. Put covers over outlets to prevent children poking things in them and keep a careful eye to make sure kids are not playing with sockets.
4 Docks, Swimming Pools, Hot Tubs and Spas
You are more likely to drown in a swimming pool than to suffer an electric shock, but every year adults, and children die due to electricity in water. The most significant risk of electrocution is derived from faulty underwater lights and out of date wiring. Pumps and power washers that are not grounded can also be a hazard. If you are swimming around docks do not get close to boats where electric charging stations can cause electrocution. You should avoid swimming near marinas altogether.
Electrocution Among Construction Workers and Contractors
Electrocution is the sixth highest cause of death for US workers, according to recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the figures released last month, government employees who work on power lines averaged 78 days away from their jobs in 2014. Construction workers averaged 40 days away from the workplace due to electrical injuries. Electrocution ranks second highest among causes of deaths of workers at construction sites, after falls. Every year about 140 construction workers are killed from electric shocks.
If you have suffered an electric shock injury due to the fault of another or if you have lost a loved one due to electrocution, call our Virginia wrongful death attorneys at 757.455.0077.