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Safety around electricity on the job

When people in North Carolina have jobs that require them to work around electricity, it is important for them to understand the potential hazards so they can avoid serious injury or even death. While the damage from electrical shock will depend on the length of exposure time as well as the current strength, all electrical shocks pose a significant risk.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 141 U.S. workplace deaths in 2013 from exposure to electricity, while 156 workers lost their lives in 2014. There are several common causes of electrical injuries, including shocks, electrocutions, falls and burns.

Electrical accidents can happen in several different ways. People may accidentally contact currents while they are working. They may also be hit by an arc of electricity when they are grounded, as the current seeks a different path other than the circuit. Some people are burned during arc flashes, while others may suffer hearing loss and other injuries due to an arc blast. Among construction workers in 2011, the third-leading cause of death was electrocution. Workers especially need to take care when using ladders near utility lines.

A workplace accident involving electricity may be especially catastrophic or even fatal. It is important for employers to help make certain their work sites are as hazard-free as possible. They should supply their workers with safety training and equipment to use whenever they work around electrical currents. Workers also need to be vigilant about the dangers they face when working with or around currents. They can help to prevent serious injury by doing so. A worker who has been injured, however, may want to meet with a workers' compensation attorney to determine the remedies that may be available.

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