Electrical currents are everywhere. In our homes, in our places of work, when we go to the shops and when we go about our day, electricity is everywhere, so much so we rarely give it a seconds thought. It is only when things go wrong, do we really understand the danger and the threat to life that electricity has.
So, what causes electrical shocks? The reasons can vary. Victims in the home are usually children, who may be curious and play with electrical wires or place items in electrical sockets. Electrical shocks and burns in the workplace are just as common, with electricians being most at risk. Click the link if you have had an electrocution accident at work.
So, if you witnessed someone getting electrocuted, would you know what to do? Here we will look at what you should do if someone is electrocuted.
What does an electrocution victim look like?
There are several scenarios that you could come across. If the victim has been shocked, has let go of the source of the electrocution and is conscious and is displaying any of the following symptoms you should call the emergency services:
- Difficulty breathing and chest pains
- If they are confused and not displaying normal behavior
- They are complaining of muscle pain and contractions throughout their body
- They have had or are having a seizure
- They have severe burns
- They are drifting in and out of consciousness
If you come across a victim on the ground who is unconscious, consider taking the following steps.
Step 1: Call the emergency services. It is always best to have the experts on their way to the scene of the accident.
Step 2: Preserve your own safety. Where is the source of electricity? Are you at risk of being electrocuted yourself? NEVER touch a casualty who is unconscious and who is still touching or in contact with the source of the electricity, you WILL be electrocuted!
Step 3: If possible, turn off the source of the electricity at the mains. If you cannot do this, then you should break the connection between the victim and the electricity supply.
Step 4: Remember NOT to touch the casualty. Find a wooden object (or an object that doesn’t conduct electricity e.g. plastic or rubber) and try to push the victim away from the source.
Step 5: Once the victim is no longer in contact with the source and you can approach without putting yourself at risk, assess the victim’s injuries and treat where possible and perform CPR if necessary.
The danger is in the voltage
It is possible to survive an electrical shock. However, chances of survival depend on the voltage of the shock, the type of current and how the person was effected as it travelled through the body. If the casualty was in good health and was treated promptly after the accident, then their chances of survival are much higher.
If you have been injured and electrocuted at work and you are not happy with your workers’ compensation result, speak to a workers comp lawyer as soon as possible.