Electrical Injuries on Job Sites in Illinois

 Posted on March 13,2024 in Workers' Compensation

Kane County workers' compensation lawyerAccording to national statistics, more than 4,000 workers are injured each year because of electrical hazards. Approximately 150 workers die from their injuries. Electricity ranks sixth among the country's most common causes of occupational injury. The injuries workers suffer in these incidents can leave them with chronic and permanent disabilities. This is why it is essential for an employee who has sustained an electric injury to consult with an Illinois workers' compensation lawyer to ensure they receive all the benefits they may be entitled to.

How Do Electrical Injuries Occur?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the most frequent causes of electrical injuries on the job include:

  • Making contact with power lines
  • Having a lack of ground-fault protection
  • The path to the ground is discontinuous or missing
  • Equipment is not being used in the manner it is designed for
  • Improperly using extension or flexible cords

Other causes of electrical injuries that occur on the job include:

  • Coming into contact with live wires while handling equipment or materials
  • Using malfunctioning or improperly maintained electrical equipment
  • Working in confined spaces
  • Having equipment plugged into overloaded circuits
  • Failing to implement proper lockout/tagout procedures when working on electrical systems or equipment
  • Working in adverse weather conditions

Most Common Types of Electrical Injuries

Electrical Burns

Electrical burns occur when an electric current passes through the body, generating heat and causing tissue damage. These burns can result from direct contact with an electrical source or arc flashes and explosions. The severity of electrical burns can vary depending on factors such as the voltage of the electrical source, the duration of contact, and the pathway of the current through the body.

  • Superficial burns: These burns only affect the skin's outer layer and may cause redness, swelling, and pain.
  • Partial-thickness burns: These burns damage more profound layers of the skin, leading to blistering, tissue necrosis, and scarring.
  • Full-thickness burns: Also known as third-degree burns, these burns extend through all layers of the skin and may damage underlying tissues, muscles, and bones. They often result in long-term disability.

Electric Shocks

Electric shocks occur when the body becomes part of an electrical circuit, allowing current to flow through it. Shocks can range from mild tingling to violent muscle contractions, respiratory paralysis, and cardiac arrest. The severity of an electric shock depends on factors such as the voltage of the electrical source, the pathway of the current through the body, and the duration of contact.

  • Low-voltage shocks: These shocks typically produce mild symptoms such as tingling sensations or muscle contractions. While they may not cause immediate harm, they can still disrupt the body's standard electrical signals and pose a risk of injury.
  • High-voltage shocks: These shocks are more severe and can cause serious injuries or death. They may lead to muscle spasms, burns, cardiac arrhythmias, and other life-threatening complications.


Electrocution is the most severe form of electrical injury and occurs when an electric current passes through the body, causing cardiac arrest or other life-threatening complications. Electrocution is often fatal, especially in cases involving high-voltage electrical sources or prolonged exposure to electrical currents.

Contact a Kane County, IL Workers' Compensation Lawyer for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has suffered an electrical injury, you should be entitled to workers' compensation under Illinois law. However, it is not uncommon for employers and insurance companies to try to limit or deny your claim outright. Call Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free consultation with one of our dedicated Aurora, IL workers comp attorneys to ensure your rights are protected.

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