Electrical fatalities among U.S. construction workers.
J Occup Environ Med 1996 Jun; 38(6):587-592
The distribution of electrical fatalities among US construction workers from 1980 to 1991 was analyzed to identify populations most at risk. Over 2,000 deaths by electrocution occurred among construction workers during the study period; this represented the highest mean annual crude mortality rate and second highest mean age adjusted rate of all industries. Despite a downward trend in crude fatality rates over the past decade, construction workers were still approximately four times more likely to be electrocuted at work than were workers in all industries combined. Electrocutions, which ranked as the second leading cause of death among construction workers, accounted for an average of 15% of traumatic deaths in the industry over the 11 year time period. Workers most at risk were male, young, nonwhite, and electricians, structural metal workers, or laborers. Injuries occurred most frequently between 11AM and 3PM from June to August. Recommendations included: better methods of worker and supervisor electrical safety training; use of adequate protective clothing; and compliance with established occupational safety procedures. The authors conclude that focusing prevention on the identified populations and risk factors could minimize electrical fatalities among construction workers.
NIOSH-Author; Accident-statistics; Accident-analysis; Occupational-accidents; Electrical-hazards; Construction-workers; Risk-analysis; Mortality-rates; Occupational-hazards
Timothy Ore, PhD, Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine