Electrocution is a significant cause of fatal injuries at work. This report from the National Fire Protection Association examines fatal work injuries of contract workers between 2012 and 2016. Due to the growth of temporary workers in the labor force in recent years, there has been substantial attention in recent years to special health and safety needs and experiences of this workforce.
Key Findings from the Report include:
- 325 contract workers died as a result of electrical injury in the U.S. from 2012 to 2016.
- 87% of contract workers who died as a result of electrical injury were wage and salary workers, while the remaining 13% were self-employed.
- 64% of the victims were between the ages of 20 and 44, while another 22% were aged 45 to 54 years.
- 68% of contractors who died as a result of exposure to electricity worked in construction and extraction occupations and another 18% worked in installation, maintenance, and repair occupations. Workers in building and grounds cleaning and repair occupations accounted for 3% of injury victims.
- Fatalities due to direct exposure to electricity indicate that work is being performed on or around energized equipment.
- Many fatalities involve self-employed workers or occur outside the traditional workplace, indicating a need for broader electrical safety education and oversight and innovative approaches to electrical safety training.