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How does an electric shock affect the body?

You love the work you do, but you never thought that it would end up causing such serious injuries. You work as an electrician at your construction site, and everything has always gone as planned in the past. Unfortunately, a new worker did not turn off the correct switch when asked, and your next move is what led to serious electric shock.

Electricity may be essential to modern life, but an electric shock can still be devastating to an individual. Every year, around 350 people die as a result of electric shocks. These can happen in many ways, from touching power lines to not having the correct ground-fault protection. 

Electric shocks are a potentially fatal workplace hazard

An electric shock can impact the body in a few ways. How it affects you will depend on:

  • The amount of time your body is being electrocuted
  • The amount of current that passes through your body 
  • The path that the electricity takes through your body

The current that affects you will be measured in amperes. Normally, people shocked with between 1 milliampere and 5 milliamperes will be able to walk away with minor injuries from the electric itself, though involuntary physical reactions could lead to injuries on their own.

From 6 mA to 16 mA, the shock becomes painful and can cause the loss of muscle control. A shock carrying 17 to 99 mA causes extreme pain and can lead to respiratory arrest. The individual may not be able to let go or remove themselves from the circuit at this stage. 

When someone is shocked above this level, death becomes much more likely. Regardless, it’s possible to survive even high levels of shocks if you do receive emergency treatment. If you were hurt on the job due to an electric shock or a loved one was killed by electrocution while working, you may have a right to workers’ compensation benefits or another claim. An experienced advocate can help you sort out your options.

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