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Survey shows 86 percent who have been shocked felt "very confident" in recognizing electrical hazards.

A survey by Littelfuse, Inc., a global manufacturer of technologies in circuit protection, power control and sensing, discovered that many personnel who work directly with electricity have experienced electrical shock while working. Half of those surveyed and injured have been shocked by more than 220 volts.

The survey questioned almost 600 people about their knowledge of, experience with and attitude toward electrical shock hazards. The survey then was put together to show why there are workplace injuries despite there being an electrical code at the workplace.

“The survey results indicate that even the most trained employees—those who work directly with electricity—believe it is safe to work on or near equipment up to 500 volts, when in fact it’s not,” said Peter Kim, vice president and general manager, Littelfuse Industrial Business Unit.

“Too many fatalities occur each year due to electrical shock. Companies need to understand that human-based safety methods are not the most effective measures. Incident prevention requires more than PPE and safety training.”

Additional survey findings found that:

  • Almost 90 percent of those who said they think 500 volts is a safe equipment to ground to work on or near have been provided with safety training by their company.
  • Sixty-two percent of those who said they consider up to 500 volts to be safe working voltage reported having experienced electrical shock by more than 220 volts while on the job.
  • Eighty-six percent of those who said they have experienced electrical shock by more than 220 volts also rated themselves as either “very confident” or “extremely confident” in their ability to recognize an electrical hazard.
  • More than two-thirds of the respondents said that workers in their facility perform work on energized equipment.
  • Almost a quarter of the respondents said their facility does not send its electrical gloves to a laboratory for testing.
  • Another quarter of the respondents said they were uncertain if their facility tests them.

The report also includes information about:

  • The prevalence of electrical shock fatalities and the misconception that electrical shock fatalities are steadily declining
  • Variables that impact the severity of an electrical shock injury, and the long-term injuries of the body
  • Conditions where shock protection is not required by the National Electric Code but contain shock hazards that jeopardize workers’ safety
  • Safety by design and special-purpose ground fault circuit interrupters