Electrical Fatalities Reported by Federal OSHA for Calendar Year 2014 With Consideration of Design Interventions

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Electrical workplace fatalities for the calendar year 2014 (January 1, 2014-December 31, 2014) were evaluated from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) list of workplace fatalities and catastrophes. Electrocutions in U.S. workplaces continue to be a concern, especially for nonelectrical workers where electrical hazards may not be sufficiently recognized. This study includes a comparison between electrical fatalities of electrical and nonelectrical workers. The most common fatality from electrocution for nonelectrical workers was contact with power lines followed by contact with an energized machine, tool, appliance, or light fixture. The most common cause of a fatality among electrical workers was contact with wiring, a transformer, or other electrical components. Possible design interventions for the prevention of electrical fatalities are suggested. Design interventions are also needed for nonelectrical workers who may work near overhead power lines. Human costs are also considered in this study.

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... About 80% of the 2016 electrical fatalities occurred from April to October. Taylor et al. [19] and Burdge and Floyd [20] also found that more fatalities occurred during the summer months. Construction, farming, recreational, and grounds maintenance work is most active during warmer months with longer days. ...
... A study of 2014 OSHA records found that 70% of the electrical fatalities occurred to nonelectrical workers [20]. Table VI, which displays the percentage of the 2016 electrical fatalities in select occupations, confirms that a high percentage of the electrical fatalities occurred to nonelectrical workers. ...
... The electric accidents occurred during transformer servicing are mainly due to improper isolation whereas the electrical injuries due to carelessness and human errors are significantly increasing [16]. The literature [27], [28] demonstrated the characteristics of electrical injury and conveyed that contact with overhead lines has caused several electric injuries and fatalities. The rate of electric accidents is about 0.04% to 5% in developed countries, and it is 27% in developing countries, whereas the global average is 4.5%. ...
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Enriching electric safety feature is the foremost concern for reducing fatality. Recent power system installations have been equipped with all safety features by employing modernized technological innovations. However, the age-old equipment installed long before lacks safety features. One of the critical safety feature issues that cause a threat to human life due to lack of safety features is the malfunction of the air break isolation switch which is caused by thermal effects. Similarly, fatality during the maintenance of distribution of the transformer is of significant concern. Globally, air break switches have been utilized to isolate power lines and transformers in the distribution premises. Facilitating the transformers with safety features is a highly complicated and expensive task. Consequently, severe fatalities have been recorded due to the lack of accident preventive techniques. In this perspective, the proposed work is to develop a Faulty Switching Detection and Alert System (FSDA) to alleviate the life-threatening issues. The FSDA mechanism is an integrated actuator setup configured beside the transformer switches and operating rods and the malfunction of switches is detected and alerted. The Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) module is used to integrate the detection mechanism with alert and display system. The system generates an alarm to alert the workmen to avoid fatality.
This paper presents a protection scheme for DC power distribution systems based on a unique rate-limited operating mode. The concept of this protection scheme is that extremely slow ramp-rate limits can be imposed on the DC network voltage and on all currents drawn from the network through control of the power electronic interfaces. Meanwhile, all fast transients produced by loads and DGs can be absorbed by local energy storage—typically a battery—behind the interface converter. The removal of all transients from the distribution network enables a very effective method to differentiate normal operation from fault conditions, including high-impedance faults such as vegetation faults and human-body faults. In the proposed scheme, the ramprates of the current and voltage on the network are sensed by each interfaced converter to check for compliance with the defined rate limits. It is unlikely that a given fault on the network will comply with the stringently slow rate limits, so this scheme allows the system to quickly detect the fault and deploy suitable protections. Experimental results show that the presented protection scheme is capable of detecting and interrupting a human-body-impedance fault quickly enough to prevent electrocution on a DC distribution cable operating at voltages of 1000 V and above, leading to unprecedented safety on a power distribution network of this voltage level.
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Researchers globally conducted several studies on electrical safety awareness and practices for improving occupational safety and health of workers. However, most of these studies were limited to industry workers, with few focusing on academic workshops/laboratories, and almost none in the case of Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria. This study therefore, aims to assess the extent of electrical safety practices among staff and students of electrical engineering department, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria. The authors used descriptive research design in which 50-item structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 42 staff and 99 students of electrical engineering department, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria. The results show that staff and students do not strictly observe electrical safety practices in the workshops/laboratories. The results also revealed the common causes of electrical accidents in the workshops/laboratories; nature of frequent electrical accidents; and measures to reduce electrical accidents and promote students’ compliance to electrical safety rules and regulations. The researchers limit this study to only department of electrical engineering in the faculty of engineering. Also, only quantitative data was collected from the respondents, without giving consideration to the in-depth information qualitative data (such as interview) would have provide. As such, conclusions derived using quantitative approach from the respondents relies on the genuineness of the information provided by them. The findings provide the faculty of engineering with a basis to introduce ‘Electrical Safety Awareness and Practices’ course into the curriculum.
NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the Workplace, addresses electrical safety practices for electrical workers. However, the words “electrical safety in the workplace” might also be used to refer to electrical safety for all workers and general safety for electrical workers. Recent 2011-2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data indicate that, comparatively speaking, electrical work is not an exceptionally dangerous occupation and that electrical injuries are not unique to electrical workers. The BLS injury data reveals: 1) contact with electricity is a much higher percentage of fatal occupational injuries than nonfatal occupational injuries and 2) the number of nonfatal electric shock and electrical burn injuries rose in 2015. The BLS data suggests that worker safety programs, in general, need to make electrical hazard awareness a priority. The BLS data specific to electricians showed a rising trend in fatalities, but a reduction in nonfatal injuries. Electrical workers are injured not only by electrical hazards but also by violence, transportation accidents, falling, and overexertion; the percentages of the different injury types are explored to reinforce the importance of comprehensive safety training for electrical workers.
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IN 2006, A TOTAL OF 5,840 FATAL occupational injuries occurred in private industry in the U.S. (BLS, 2008). In addition, 4.1 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported, which means that 4.4 nonfatal occupational injuries or illnesses were reported for every 100 full-time-equivalent workers in the U.S. Rosenman, Kalush, Reilly, et al. (2006) have suggested that these statistics are a cause for employer concern, especially in light of a recent study which indicated that the BLS's system for recording work-related injuries and illnesses under-counts the total number of injuries associated with chronic or acute conditions. Most SH&E professionals are very much aware of these statistics and endeavor to reduce the numbers of occupational fatalities, injuries and illnesses. Often, however, there are limits as to what SH&E professionals can do to positively impact occupa-tional safety. For example, practitioners may not be in a position to ultimately determine what and how company resources are allocated to safety interven-tions. They may often have to find ways to convince higher-level managers—who set priorities and control the budget—of the need to fund occupational safety efforts, and of the critical role their support can play in their com-pany's occupational safety. Research has supported the concept that a positive asso-ciation exists between top management support and im-proved workplace safety and health outcomes (Cohen, 1977; Griffiths, 1985; Marsh, Davies, Phillips, et al., 1998). Griffiths (1985) found that top manage-ment commitment to safety and health was associated with reduced lost-time injuries in the industrial gas industry. Sawacha, Naoum and Fong (1999) found that top manage-ments' attitudes toward safety played a significant role in safe-ty performance. Despite these findings, re-search to assess the safety pri-orities and safety concerns of top-level executives/managers (such as corporate financial Yueng-Hsiang Huang, Ph.D., is a senior research scientist at Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety (LMRIS) in Hopkinton, MA. She holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Portland State University. She is a member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, American Psychological Association, Society for Occupational Health Psychology, the ASSE Foundation Research Committee and the editorial board of Accident Analysis and Prevention.
This study describes the occurrence of work-related injuries from thermal-, electrical- and chemical-burns among electric utility workers. We describe injury trends by occupation, body part injured, age, sex, and circumstances surrounding the injury. This analysis includes all thermal, electric, and chemical injuries included in the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Occupational Health and Safety Database (OHSD). There were a total of 872 thermal burn and electric shock injuries representing 3.7% of all injuries, but accounting for nearly 13% of all medical claim costs, second only to the medical costs associated with sprain- and strain-related injuries (38% of all injuries). The majority of burns involved less than 1 day off of work. The head, hands, and other upper extremities were the body parts most frequently injured by burns or electric shocks. For this industry, electric-related burns accounted for the largest percentage of burn injuries, 399 injuries (45.8%), followed by thermal/heat burns, 345 injuries (39.6%), and chemical burns, 51 injuries (5.8%). These injuries also represented a disproportionate number of fatalities; of the 24 deaths recorded in the database, contact with electric current or with temperature extremes was the source of seven of the fatalities. High-risk occupations included welders, line workers, electricians, meter readers, mechanics, maintenance workers, and plant and equipment operators.
Available: Advancements-in-the-Practice-of-Electrical-Safety-13
  • A H L Floyd
Design options that reduce likelihood of injury from electrical hazards including shock, arc flash and fire
  • floyd
New York Academy of Sciences
  • wyzga