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Electricity can be a safety risk for people in any industry
Electricity enhances almost every part of the modern human experience and is present in nearly every work environment. From providing lighting and environmental comforts, it also powers the machinery necessary in commercial and industrial facilities.
Everyone works near electricity, even if they don’t work with electricity directly. Given the ubiquitous presence of wiring and electrical devices in businesses, electrical injury is a serious concern for all modern workers.
Electrocutions can prove fatal, or they can cause severe injuries, like burns and nerve damage. How common are electrical injuries, and who is at the most risk?
Thousands of electrical injuries happen at work every year
From retail workers who could hurt themselves when plugging in a device that shorts out to construction professionals actually installing wiring in a new building, there are countless ways that workers could suffer an electrical injury at work.
In 2020, there were 126 on-the-job fatalities caused by electrical injury. That is the lowest level reported since 2003. There were roughly 2,200 injuries on the job caused by electricity.
The industries with the most risk include mining, construction, maintenance/repair, transportation, farming and building/ground maintenance. Those in service-providing industries were responsible for roughly two-thirds of electrical injuries in the workplace, while those who produce goods reported just over a third of the total electrical injuries.
How workers’ compensation helps
After an electrical injury on the job, you can apply for workers’ compensation benefits. The most immediate benefit offered by workers’ compensation after an injury on the job is full medical coverage.
Workers don’t need to worry about how much their treatment may cost because workers’ compensation pays all of the necessary care costs without passing anything on to the individual like standard health insurance does. If the injury is serious enough to warrant time off of work or to force someone to leave a profession, the affected employee may qualify for temporary or even permanent disability benefits.
In the rare but tragic scenario where a worker dies because of an electrical injury, their surviving family members may qualify for death benefits through workers’ compensation that will pay for funeral costs, medical care expenses prior to their deaths and some of their lost wages.
Learning more about workers’ compensation can help those coping with a job injury connect with crucial support.