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Worker deaths by electrocution - a summary of NIOSH surveillance and investigative findings.

Casini-VJ; Kisner-S
NOIRS 1997 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 1997. Washington, DC: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1997 Oct; :33-34
To identify and describe trends in traumatic occupational fatalities due to contact with electrical energy, review recommended prevention strategies, and describe the approach of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to traumatic occupational fatality investigation and prevention. Through surveillance and on-site fatality investigations of occupational electrocutions, risk factors can be identified and intervention strategies developed, disseminated, and implemented to reduce fatal occupational injuries. Data from the National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities (NTOF) surveillance system, which is based on death certificates from all 50 States and the District of Columbia meeting the following criteria: age 16 years and older; external injury cause of death; and the certifier noted that the injury occurred at work was used. Data are also included from the Fatality Assessment and Control evaluation (FACE) program gathered during field investigations using the traditional epidemiologic model. This study uses data from the NTOF surveillance system and the FACE database to describe trends and rates of fatalities of workers during to electrocution over a 12-year period. Through surveillance and epidemiologic investigations, potential risk factors are identified and injury prevention strategies are developed. According to NTOF data, a total of 5,338 workers were electrocuted in 5,170 incidents from 1980-1992. An average of 411 workers were electrocuted each year, with an average annual rate of 0.4 workers per 100,000 workers. Although the number of electrocution deaths have decreased by more than 50% from 1980- 1992, electrocutions accounted for 5% of all worker deaths in 1994 in the U.S. From November 1982 to December 1994, the NIOSH FACE program investigated 224 electrocution incidents resulting in 244 occupational fatalities. Recommended prevention strategies include compliance with national safety codes, proper use of personal protective equipment, appropriate worker training, and developing and implementing comprehensive written safety programs. Approximately 411 workers die each year from electrocution-related incidents in the work environment, and electrocutions account for 5% of all occupational fatalities in the U.S. To reduce these numbers, prevention strategies need to be developed and disseminated to targeted audiences. The FACE model has been demonstrated as an effective tool for describing fatal occupational injuries, developing prevention strategies, and disseminating these prevention strategies to targeted audiences.
Workers; Mortality-data; Mortality-rates; Traumatic-injuries; Electrocutions; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-shock; Electrical-systems; Electricity; Occupational-hazards; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Risk-factors; Risk-analysis; Epidemiology; Models; Demographic-characteristics; Age-factors; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-clothing; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Work-environment
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings; Abstract
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
NOIRS 1997 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division