It’s not rare to find unfortunate cases of electrocution as part of workplace accidents. Be it from an electric switch, an appliance, and extension wire or power lines.
In British Columbia, statistics revealed that from 2012 to 2016, 270 victims suffered short-term, long-term, and fatal injuries as a result of electrocution at work.
Regardless of how big or small the shock was, the victim needs to get medical help to be safe. However, paramedics can only reach the site after some time. Meanwhile those present on spot must be equipped with basic knowledge of how to deal with a case of electrocution.
Here’s what you should do if someone at work has been electrocuted.
Detach Them from the Source
If you witness a case of electrocution while it’s happening, make sure to cut off the power supply first!
Figure out what’s causing the electrocution and unplug it from the supply instantly. If it’s an appliance, switch it off or cut the power supply from the fuse box.
If you’re unable to cut the power supply, use a non-conductive material like wood, a book or dry newspapers to push the victim away from the current. If the victim is under a high-voltage attack, you need to get in touch with the local power authority to get the supply shut off.
Offer CPR to the Victim When They’re Safe to Touch
Check for the victim’s pulse and breathing patterns once away from the current. Make sure the victim is safe for physical contact once he/she has been detached from the power supply.
If you can’t find a pulse, immediately conduct CPR on them. Be sure to identify the age of the victim and provide first-aid as needed. Note: adult CPR is different from child CPR.
Check For Bleeding Wounds, Burns Or Fractures
If the victim has wounds, treat the injuries after reviving their pulse. If the affected area is a limb, elevate it at a level above the heart and apply pressure to prevent blood loss.
Electrocution can cause all sorts injuries like deep wounds, burns and fractures
(resulting from a fall). If the fracture or dislocation seems obvious, avoid tackling the case without medical help! One wrong move can complicate matters even more.
Call For Help
Irrespective of how trained you are to give first-aid, you can never substitute a specialist who can treat serious cases of electrocution. Such victims may come in with second-degree burns, fractures, and dislocations which need to addressed at the earliest. It’s imperative to ask someone to call for help as soon as you register a case of electrocution at work.
First-aid should be reserved for the time it takes for paramedics to arrive as it’s not a complete treatment for the injuries.
Looking for a place to train yourself for giving first-aid?
At Metro Safety, we believe first-aid training is crucial for handling workplace emergencies. We strive to provide first aid training courses and work place safety tools and have been in the industry since 2008.
If you’re interested in our OFA level courses to better help electrocuted victims, sign up ASAP.