Workers’ Compensation for Electric Shock and Electrocution

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes electricity as a significant workplace hazard, which exposes employees to a variety of injuries and death. You have likely felt the shocking buzz of an electrical shock at home when replacing a lightbulb, or unplugging an appliance that was running. But workplace exposure to electrical shock can be at much higher voltage levels and have serious consequences. In 2014, there were 175 workplace fatalities in Pennsylvania, which is eight fewer than the previous year. Eight of those worker deaths were from electrical injury, which was down from 11 deaths in 2013. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

What causes electrical shocks to workers?

According to OSHA, electricity travels in closed circuits, normally through a conductor. But sometimes a person’s body–an efficient conductor of electricity–mistakenly becomes part of the electrical circuit. This can cause an electrical shock. When a person is receiving a shock, electricity flows between parts of the body, or through the body to a ground or the earth. (OSHA)

Common electrical injuries in the workplace

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that there are four main types of electrical injuries which include:

  • Electrocution (fatal)
  • Electric shock, which can lead to heart damage and heart attack, brain injury, loss of hearing, nerve damage, seizures
  • Burns, scarring and disfigurement
  • Falls, which occur after contact with electrical energy

OSHA has many publications on the topic of electrical safety in the workplace to aid employers and workers in recognizing the hazards associated with electrical work. The following tips are from the OSHA publication, “Working Safely with Electricity:”

  • Visually inspect electrical equipment before use.
  • Take any defective equipment out of service.
  • Ground all power supply systems, electrical circuits, and electrical equipment.
  • Frequently inspect electrical systems to ensure that the path to ground is continuous.
  • Do not remove ground prongs from cord- and plug-connected equipment or extension cords.
  • Use double-insulated tools and ground all exposed metal parts of equipment.
  • Avoid standing in wet areas when using portable electrical power tools.

If you should become injured after working with electricity in the workplace, you may be eligible to claim workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical expenses and partial replacement of lost wages for the time you will lose from work while you are resting and recovering from your injuries.

If the negligence of a third party played a role in the cause of your injury, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your pain and suffering and other losses.

When you have been hurt at work due to exposure to an electrical current or any other type of occupational injury, you might benefit from the experienced legal guidance of a Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney from the law firm of Larry Pitt & Associates.

The Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates have help injured workers get the benefits they need to protect their homes and families. If have been injured while you were doing your job, please call 888.PITT.LAW or contact us to schedule an appointment at any of our offices. We are here to serve clients throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties




Larry Pitt

Larry Pitt

If you've been injured, Larry Pitt & Associates can provide you with the legal assistance and representation you need to ensure that justice is served. Get in touch today for a free consultation to discuss your case. Whether it’s a work injury, auto accident, medical malpractice, or any other injury-related matter, we are here to help make sure your rights and interests are respected. We understand the stress and frustration that can accompany an injury, and we are committed to providing thorough legal guidance and support throughout the entire process.