Sunday, April 8, 2012
Approximately 1,000 people in the United States are killed annually as the result of electrocution. Power line accidents account for almost 1/3 of all fatal electrocutions. Electrocution burns are the most common electrical related injury, and approximately 3,000 people suffer electrical burns each year in the United States.
Depending on the power, the path, and the duration of the electrical shock, a worker can suffer a variety of injuries as a result of an electrical accident:
Cardiovascular: An electric shock can stop the heart or cause fibrillation of the heart rhythm, both of which are lethal if not treated immediately, and permanent damage to the heart may also occur.
Respiratory: If electrical current passes through the chest, it can cause respiratory arrest. Respiratory arrest can also occur if the respiration-controlling area of the brain is affected by the electrical shock.
Neurological: The spinal cord or brain can be damaged if the electrical current passes through the brain or spinal cord. Victims of electrocution often suffer secondary brain injuries or spinal cord injuries if they fall from a height after being electrocuted.
Musculoskeletal: If the electrical shock causes prolonged muscle contraction, it can cause muscle damage in the effected body part. Body parts in contact with the power source or the ground, or touched by an arch flash are often severely and deeply burned.
Other injuries: Some injuries caused by electrical shock are not always immediately apparent, such as hearing or vision damage. Some individuals may also suffer from mental symptoms following an electrical injury, such as depression, memory loss or confusion.
Electrocution injuries can be severe and complex. You may require extensive medical treatment. You may miss significant time off work, or you may be disabled from returning to work.
If you’ve suffered an electrocution injury as a result of your work activities, you may be eligible for Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits help cover your expenses after an on-the-job injury, and can include medical expense benefits, wage loss benefits, permanency benefits, and/or vocational rehabilitation benefits. After a severe electrocution injury, an experienced Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney can assist you get the benefits you’re entitled to, and help protect your rights.
For a free, no-obligation case consultation, call Meuser & Associate at 877-746-5680, or click here to send us an email.