Every day, employees of industries and businesses in Pennsylvania and across the country are exposed to a variety of electrical equipment that could put them in danger of being injured or even killed. In fact, electrical accidents rank as one of the major causes for on-the-job deaths in the United States. An estimated 300 workers die and 4,000 are hurt annually, as reported by the Electrical Safety Foundation.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has established guidelines in order to minimize the potential for workplace injuries, such as effectively training employees, implementing safety programs and providing personal protective equipment. By designating certain qualified personnel to oversee safety programs, companies should be assured that correct procedures will be followed in the event of an electrical emergency such as an explosion or fire. The specified staff leaders chosen should be knowledgeable in all of the companies’ electrical equipment and keep strict records of the companies’ safety practices and plans.
Personal protective equipment such as non-conductive footwear and gloves could prevent an electrical current from entering the body, resulting in a worker being injured or killed. Even in accidents involving low-voltage, workers can receive serious burns and fractures from falling after an electric shock. Laser safety goggles and face shields could protect workers from the effects of electric arc flash explosions.
A worker who experienced an electrical injury likely filed a workers’ compensation claim. However, if the employer failed in certain duties, such as providing the employee with adequate personal protective equipment, the employee could choose to waive his or her rights to medical and other applicable benefits and instead file a lawsuit citing employer negligence as a cause of the injury.
Source: Manufacturing.net, “Better On-The-Job Electrical Safety“, Christina Chatfield, April 07, 2014