Working in most of Pennsylvania’s industries comes with certain hazards that endanger your health and possibly even your life. Some of those industries involve working with electricity in voltages that could cause significant electrical shocks.
More than likely, you and your employer take measures to ensure your safety when you work with electricity. Even so, accidents still happen, and you could suffer an electric shock that causes you serious injuries.
Electric shock injuries
The injuries you could suffer directly from the electric shock include the following:
- You could suffer both external and internal burns. Burns to your organs can occur at voltages ranging from 500 to 1000 volts. The affected organs could fail. Even if it’s possible to recover from internal burns, your recovery could take a significant amount of time.
- Ventricular fibrillation can occur between 50 and 60 Hz. The muscles of your heart could begin acting independently and lead to death if you do not receive defibrillation immediately.
- At 200 mA or higher, your heart could immediately stop.
- If the current moves through or near your head, you could lose consciousness.
These are not the only consequences of an electric shock, however.
Electric shock related injuries
At the time you receive an electric shock, you could suffer injuries as a result of the following:
- You may collapse. Depending on where you are when the shock occurs, you could suffer other injuries. For instance, if you happen to be on a scaffold or a ladder, you could fall several feet.
- You could stop breathing or your heartbeat could become irregular. Your heart may also stop beating all together.
- The entry and exit points of a high voltage electric shock could die and the muscles could swell due to edema.
- Muscle contractions could cause joint dislocations, bone fractures or loss of consciousness.
- Your electrolytes or other fluids could be thrown out of balance. This or a drop in your blood pressure could cause kidney failure.
For some, the electric shock becomes the least of the injuries suffered.
The aftermath of an electric shock
Any significant electric shock could result in you being out of work for a substantial amount of time while you recover. In fact, you could end up with injuries from which you may never fully recover. In any case, you may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits to help with your medical and medical-related expenses, along with a portion of your income.
In addition, if your injuries resulted from negligence on the part of a third party, you may also be able to file a personal injury claim against those deemed responsible such as equipment manufacturers, subcontractors or others involved.