Fatal occupational electrical injuries in Virginia

J Occup Med. 1991 Jan;33(1):57-63. doi: 10.1097/00043764-199101000-00015.


Work-related electrical injuries and fatalities in Virginia were reviewed for the period 1977 to 1985. Of 196 workers electrocuted (0.9/100,000/year), 65% (127) died between May and September. Death rates were highest for male workers in utility companies (10.0/100,000), mining (5.9/100,000), and construction industries (3.9/100,000), but these high risk groups accounted for only 50% of the deaths. Most accidental electrocutions resulted from power line contact (53%) and machine or tool usage or repair (22%). Only 1.5% (2/101) of the workers who died within 6 hours of injury and had blood alcohol concentration tested were legally intoxicated. All workers need safety education on active measures to prevent hazardous electrical exposures, not just those at high risk for electrical injury. Every work-related electrical injury represents a sentinel health event--an opportunity for preventive intervention in the workplace.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / mortality*
  • Accidents, Occupational / prevention & control
  • Electric Injuries / mortality*
  • Electric Injuries / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupations*
  • Virginia