Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Electrical Energy Accident

Providing appropriate medical care after an electrical energy incident will not guarantee success. However, it has been reported elsewhere and supported in the NIOSH case reports, the chance for successful resuscitation after cardiopulmonary arrest is best when the criteria for providing emergency medical care are met.
1. ELECTROCUTION PREVENTION PREVENTION must be the primary goal of any occupational safety program. However, since contact with electrical energy occurs even in facilities which promote safety, safety programs should provide for an appropriate emergency medical response.
2. SAFE WORK PRACTICES No one who works with electric energy should work alone, and in many instances, a "buddy system" should be established. It may be advisable to have both members of the buddy system trained in CPR, as one cannot predict which one will contact electrical energy.
Every individual who works with or around electrical energy should be familiar with emergency procedures. This should include knowing how to de-energize the electrical system before rescuing or beginning resuscitation on a worker who remains in contact with an electrical energy source.
All workers exposed to electrical hazards should be made aware that even "low" voltage circuits can be fatal, and that prompt emergency medical care can be lifesaving.
3. CPR AND ACLS PROCEDURES CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION (CPR) and first aid should be immediately available at every worksite. This capability is necessary to provide prompt (within 4 minutes) care for the victims of cardiac or respiratory arrest, from any cause.
Provisions should be worked out at each worksite to provide ADVANCED CARDIAC LIFE SUPPORT (ACLS) within 8 minutes (if possible), usually by calling an ambulance staffed by paramedics. Signs on or near phones should give the correct emergency number for the area, and workers should be educated regarding the information to give when the call is made. For large facilities, a prearranged place should be established for company personnel to meet paramedics in an emergency.

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