Individuals who work in construction or as electricians run a particularly high risk of becoming a victim of an arc flash or electrical shock incident.
Arc flashes involve an electrical discharge being transferred between one object and another. They often occur in cases of short or faulty circuits. In instances in which large transfers of energy are involved, a presence of significant pressure, heat or light may all be present. In cases in which they are, it’s possible for vaporized material to be released in a explosive reaction.
Individuals working around an area where arc flashes occur are likely to suffer hearing damage caused by the high decibel blast and instant changes in air pressure.
They’re also likely to suffer third-degree burns caused by the enormously hot, gaseous material that often oozes when such as incident occurs. This often results in burns to clothes and an individual’s underlying skin, lungs and other sensitive body parts. The unpredictability of arcs does not give individuals working around them enough time to protect their eyes from damage. They often suffer third-degree burns to them as well.
Aside from arc incidents, electric shock incidents are also particularly dangerous. They occur when an individual’s body becomes energized as a circuit begins to flow through it.
Our skin serves as our only defense against an electrical current permeating our body, although there are cases in which the current is too strong that it fails to protect us from harm. If the human body becomes a conductor of electricity, then it’s likely that an individual may suffer ventricular fibrillation, a predecessor to cardiac arrest, as a result.
Muscle contractions that are so strong that they lead to other injuries such as fractures of dislocations of bones and muscles may result. Falls are inevitable if this occurs.
Electrical shocks can also cause victims to suffer damage or fourth-degree burns to not just an individual’s skin, but also their tissue, muscle, bone and nerve.
Flash arc or electrical shock incidents often happen because of an individual’s negligence or having been improperly trained about how to avoid them. If you’ve been injured in such an incident, then a Dauphin workers’ compensation attorney can advise you of your right to recover medical costs and lost wages in your case.
Source: EC&M, “Electrical hazards and the human body,” Anthony Dawes, Jan. 16, 2018