Causes of Electrocution and Electrical Shock Accident & Prevention
Unfortunately, the human body, like metal and power lines, is an excellent conductor of electricity. While there are many causes of electrical injuries, fortunately there are things one can do to prevent electrical shock injuries, including the following:
- Extension cords. These cords are found in every home and office. They are the source of many electrical shocks and burns. They must be discarded or properly repaired when any of their wires are exposed or worn. One frequent cause of injury is when young children and pets chew on them. As a result, electrical burns to the mouth constitute about one-half of extension-cord injuries to young children, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
- Electric Outlets. Unfortunately, most electric outlets are located where young children easily can reach them. One member of our staff as a young child stuck a screw driver in one with shocking results. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about 4000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year due to injuries relating to electric outlets. If there are young children at home, its recommended to use sliding outlet covers.
- Electric Appliances. We all have electric appliances in our homes and/or offices. From toasters to radios to hair dryers. Touching a hair dryer with wet hands may cause an electrical shock. Here are some quick safety tips regarding electric appliances: Never use them near water; do not use electric appliances with cracked or worn plugs or wires; and unplug electric appliances when not in use.
- Swimming pools, hot tubs & Spas. In addition to the risk of drowning in pools and hot tubs, there is the serious risk of electrocution and eclectic shock from faulty wiring in pools and hot tubs. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the biggest risk of electrocution in pools is due to defective underwater lighting, faulty and old wiring, and improperly grounded vacuums. The risk is exacerbated when lighting and circuits are not properly protected by Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupters (GFCIs). GFCIs are regarded as one of the best ways to prevent electrocution. Therefore, if you have a pool, hot tub, spa or similar water feature, you are advised to have your service person check to be sure you have properly working GFCIs.
- High voltage Power lines. High-voltage overhead power lines present a significant risk to those on ladders or other lift devices. Never place anything near or under a power line, such as ladders, antennas or long poles used to trim trees. In addition, should you ever see a downed power line, even if it appears out, do NOT approach it or touch it; instead immediately report it to your local electric utility provider.
- Lightning. Thunderstorms with lightning usually occur on hot, humid days. If you believe a storm approaching, you are advised to seek shelter to avoid serious injury by electrocution.