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Request for assistance in preventing fatalities of workers who contact electrical energy.

Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 87-103, 1986 Dec; :1-6
Recommendations for life saving measures aimed at workers who contact electrical energy are presented in a NIOSH Alert. Standards and guidelines produced by the 1985 National Conference on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiac Care indicate two levels of emergency aid: basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), which can be administered by trained lay persons; and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), involving special equipment operated by medical personnel. The speed of administering aid is essential to successful resuscitation. Highest success rates are found when CPR is begun within 4 minutes of cardiac arrest and ACLS within 8 minutes. A case report describes a construction worker who contacted a high voltage line, resulting in immediate collapse. CPR was begun within about 4 minutes and ACLS by about 6 minutes. The individual eventually recovered. Another case describes a restaurant worker who manually contacted a 110 to 120 volt 20 amp electrical outlet source. He was in contact for a prolonged time, and although an off duty employee arrived to administer CPR, this probably did not occur within 4 to 6 minutes. An emergency squad with ACLS capability that arrived 10 minutes after notification was unable to resuscitate the victim. Recommendations include prevention; safe work practices such as a buddy system, CPR training, and knowledge of circuit deenergization; availability and administration of CPR within 4 minutes; and availability of ACLS within 8 minutes.
Electrical-shock; Construction-workers; Food-handlers; Cardiopulmonary-system; First-aid; Emergency-treatment; Electrical-hazards; Construction-Search
Publication Date
Document Type
Numbered Publication; Alert
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 87-103
NIOSH Division
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division