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Electrical Shock Work Injuries In North Carolina
King Law Firm – Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Although many employers take steps to protect workers, construction workers and electricians of all kinds remain at risk of electrical shock at work. The severity of these shocks can range from uncomfortable to life-threatening. Anyone who is at risk of electrical shock at work should know how common these injuries are, what kinds of medical problems they can cause, and what to do if it happens to them. If you’ve been shocked at work, do not hesitate to contact an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss your case and learn more about your options.
How Common Are Electrical Shock Injuries at Work?
Some workers don’t bother to report shocks that don’t seem to cause immediate risks to their health, which can make it difficult to get accurate data on the total number of electrical shocks at worksites. However, some experts estimate that as many as 30,000 cases happen per year, with most going unreported.
When it comes to electrical injuries that caused people to miss work, the number of incidents is in decline. In 2018, nonfatal electrical injuries reached an all-time low of 1,560, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International. These injuries occurred in many industries, primarily construction, manufacturing, hospitality, education, and health. On average, workers who sustained electrical injuries needed four days away from work.
Sadly, some electrical shocks at work end with tragedy. In 2018, 160 people died from electrical injuries sustained at work. This number is an increase over previous years and demonstrates just how serious an electrical shock at work can be.
What Complications Can Arise from Electrical Shock?
For people who work with electricity often, a shock can feel like just part of the job. However, it’s important to take electrical shocks seriously. Though some may be mild, other shocks can lead to problems such as:
- Losing consciousness
- Neurological problems such as muscle spasms, headache, or numbness
- Heart problems, including an irregular beat
In severe cases, people who are shocked may experience compartment syndrome. With this syndrome, a person’s muscles swell and press against their arteries. This, in turn, can lead to serious health problems. Most often, compartment syndrome is not apparent immediately after a shock, so anyone who has been shocked should monitor his or her health closely.
What Should I Do If I’m Shocked at Work?
If you’re ever shocked at work or anywhere else, the first thing you need to do is ensure your physical safety. If the shock feels major:
- Let go of the source of electricity and get far enough away to prevent touching it again
- Try not to move too much. Only move in order to get away from the electricity and call 911
- Call 911 or yell for help
Of course, many electrical shocks will not be major. Anyone who feels like the shock is minor should see make an appointment with a doctor, regardless of whether the person has symptoms.
All people who experience an electrical shock at work should follow the appropriate medical steps above. Furthermore, workers should take extra steps to ensure their employers cover the medical bills:
- Report the shock as soon as possible
- Keep records of all medical bills and interactions about the shock
- Hire a knowledgeable lawyer to help
Call Us Today to Speak with a North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Unfortunately, insurance companies and employers aren’t always eager to pay the benefits that injured workers need. If you run into any resistance getting time off, treatment for your injuries, or the benefits to which you are entitled, contact a North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer for help. King Law Firm is here to help. You can contact us through our website or call (800) 635-1683 to set up a consultation today.
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