As a construction worker, you understand the risks that come with the job. There are many different ways to get seriously hurt. With the right gear and safety precautions, you may avoid serious injury. Still, even a worker who takes steps to stay safe may suffer an unexpected injury like an electrical burn.
Electrical burns have a reputation for being very serious, even life-threatening. According to Construction Executive, a construction worker may get away with just a skin burn, but it is possible to suffer a harmful, even fatal outcome if the electrical voltage is strong enough.
Low voltage burns
Some people only experience an electrical burn with a low voltage, at 500 volts or less. While you might suffer an electrical burn, the voltage is not intense enough to penetrate any deeper than your skin. As a result, you may only require the same kind of medical treatment as if you suffered a minor burn caused by flame.
High voltage burns
It is when voltage surpasses 500 volts that a burn can become much more serious. A high voltage current can travel under your skin and cause damage to any part of your body, including muscles, nerves and organs. The immediate consequences can include losing consciousness, a seizure, trouble with breathing, and possibly a deadly outcome like cardiac arrest.
This does not take into account other injuries that may happen after an electrical burn. You may be holding a heavy tool that you drop on yourself after contacting an electrical current. It is also possible to fall on the ground and suffer a head injury after an electric shock.
Take steps to protect yourself
The varying outcomes of an electrical burn make it imperative to protect yourself. Be sure that you have the training to do work that may expose you to electrical hazards. Also, be aware of your surroundings and use the right tools for your job. In the event you do suffer an electrical burn, you may have an entitlement to compensation if your employer’s negligence led to the incident.