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Worker deaths by electrocution: a summary of surveillance findings and investigative case reports.

Casini-V; Kisner-S; Stout-NA
NIOSH 1998 May; :1-49
This monograph highlights the magnitude of the problem of occupational electrocutions in the U.S., identifies potential risk factors for fatal injury, and provides recommendations for developing effective safety programs to reduce the risk of electrocution. This monograph summarizes surveillance data and investigative reports of fatal incidents involving workers who contacted energized electrical conductors or equipment. The surveillance data were derived from the National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities (NTOF) surveillance system maintained by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The NTOF data are based on death certificates of workers 16 years or older who died from a traumatic injury in the workplace. The fatality investigations were conducted as part of the NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program. FACE is a research program for the identification and investigation of fatal occupational injuries. Based on the NTOF surveillance data for the period from 1980 through 1992, 5,348 workers died from contact with electrical energy (an average of 411 deaths per year). Electrocutions were the fifth leading cause of death, accounting for 7% of all workplace fatalities. In the 12 year period from 1982 through 1994, NIOSH investigated 224 electrocution incidents which resulted in 244 worker fatalities. Part I of this monograph provides: an overview of electrical hazards, including the effects of electrical energy on the human body; a comprehensive summary of the epidemiology of occupational electrocutions based on NTOF and FACE data which identifies common risk factors for fatal injury due to contact with electrical energy; and recommendations for elements of an effective electrical safety program for the prevention of workplace electrocutions. Part II includes a summary abstract for all 224 FACE electrocution investigative reports prepared by NIOSH for further information and reference.
Mortality; Electrocution; Surveillance-networks; Safety; Medical-recordkeeping; Information-systems; Electrical-equipment; Energy; Occupational-hazards; Epidemiology; Accident-prevention; Electrician; Injury-prevention; Identification-systems; Powerlines; Burns; Falls; Electric-utility-industry; Accident-statistics; Construction-Search
Publication Date
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Numbered Publication
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
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Identifying No.
(NIOSH) 98-131
NIOSH Division
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health