Electrical Shock: Deadly and Prevalent

To Decrease Electrical Fatality Rate, Companies Must Better Incorporate Prevention through Design

Electrical shock is incredibly dangerous.

Not only it is dangerous, but it is also a common occurrence where resulting injuries—if the incident does not result in a fatality—can lead to lifelong complications. Contrary to widespread belief, electrical injuries and fatalities among US workers are not on the decline.

More than 90 % of electrical fatalities among US workers are due to electrical shock. This number does not even account for the substantial proportion of injuries and fatalities that are often misclassified under a different cause of death. And yet, regardless of a worker’s years of experience or what their safety training taught them about electrical shock (if their safety training addressed electrical shock at all), many—if not most—workers’ actions demonstrate that they do not seem to take electrical shock hazards seriously.

For this reason, companies and safety professionals must ensure that Prevention Through Design (also commonly called Safety by Design) is at the forefront of their electrical safety approach.

This year, Littelfuse surveyed more than 400 people whose job is either involved in safety (such as safety professionals or consultants), or work directly with electricity. We wanted to better understand the reasoning behind why electrical workers often take unsafe actions, and the challenges safety professionals and consultants experience when trying to keep these workers safe.

This report ties in outside research with the goal of helping us understand why Prevention Through Design is the best way to ensure nobody is injured or killed while on the job.