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December 4, 2017

Utilizing Proper Technologies Key to Ensuring Electrical Safety

Thanks to major safety improvements, the number of fatal electrical injuries in the workplace has steadily decreased during the past 20 years, from 334 in 1992 to 139 in 2013. However, the trend with non-fatal electrical injuries has been less consistent, ranging between 1,700 and 2,950 injuries annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The leading electrical injury event for non-fatal injuries between 2003 and 2010 was “contact with electric current of machine, tool, appliance, or light fixture,” which accounted for 37 percent of injuries. The second-leading cause was “contact with wiring, transformers, or other electrical components,” with 35 percent of injuries.

Many workers who experience an electrical injury have insufficient training for working on or around energized electrical equipment. Time pressures and supervisor demands may contribute to workers overriding rules to complete assigned tasks more quickly. Taking shortcuts can pose potentially lethal risks for those working around industrial power equipment.

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