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Occupational Electrical-Related Fatalities and Electrical Injuries

worker safety poster on chain link fence

Occupational electrical-related fatalities are a significant and ongoing problem and a particular hazard to those who routinely work near electrical sources. Studies have shown that the highest proportion of electrocution deaths is among electricians and apprentices, power linepersons and those working in construction and manufacturing industries. 

Living with Electrical Injuries

For those who survive electrical injury, the immediate consequences are usually obvious and often require extensive medical intervention. However, the long-term after effects might be more subtle, pervasive, and less well-defined, and are particularly difficult to diagnose, as the link between the injury and the symptoms can often go unrecognized by patients and their physicians.

Returning to Work

The challenges of returning to work after electrical injury can be split into three categories: 

  1. physical, cognitive, and psychosocial impairments and their effects on work performance;
  2. feelings of guilt, blame, and responsibility for the injury; and
  3. having to return to the workplace or worksite where the injury took place.

Support After Electrical Injury

The most beneficial supports identified by the injured workers included:

  • support from family, friends, and coworkers; and
  • the receipt of rehabilitation services that specialize in electrical injury.

 

Advice

The most common advice given to others after electrical injuries included:

  • avoiding electrical injury;
  • feeling ready to return to work;
  • filing a Workplace Safety and Insurance Board injury/claims report;
  • proactively being a self-advocate; and
  • garnering the assistance of individuals who understand electrical injuries to advocate on their behalf.

 

Source: Ontario Electrical Safety Report 2013