Worker Deaths by Electrocution


May 1998
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 98-131
cover of 98-131

A Summary of Surveillance Findings and Investigative Case Reports

Many American workers are exposed to electrical energy daily during the performance of their tasks. 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. The goal of the FACE program is to collect information on factors that may have contributed to traumatic occupational fatalities using an epidemiologic approach, and to develop and disseminate recommendations for preventing similar events in the future.

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Page last reviewed: June 6, 2014