Electricians' Health After Electrical Shocks: A Prospective Cohort Study

J Occup Environ Med. 2022 Apr 1;64(4):e237-e244. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002494. Epub 2022 Feb 9.


Objectives: To examine whether demographic and health factors are associated with risk of electrical shocks and compared mental and physical health before and after an electrical shock.

Methods: A 6-month cohort study of 6960 electricians involved weekly questionnaires regarding exposure to electrical shocks, and health. We examined the association between health and demographic factors and the risk of eventual electrical shocks and health before and after a shock.

Results: Youth and poor health were associated with risk of shocks. Reporting of numbness, cramps/spasms, tremors, tinnitus, dizziness, and flashbacks increased in the week of the shock, but only tinnitus and flashbacks persisted, as other symptoms receded. Severity, high voltage, cross-body exposure, wet entry/exit points, and direct current as well as health worries and/or neuroticism increased some estimates.

Conclusion: Electrical shocks are common, but rarely result in health effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cohort Studies
  • Electric Countershock
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tinnitus* / epidemiology
  • Tinnitus* / etiology