But if not properly contained, electricity can be very hazardous to the human body. Consumer products cause thousands of shock injuries each year, the Electrical Safety Foundation International reports. Worst of all is when electrical current causes an electrocution, or fatal shock. On average, 60 people are electrocuted by products annually.
Then there are the shocks and electrocutions suffered on the job by people who work with or around electricity every day. A 10-year study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that electrocution caused the second-most deaths among construction workers of any type of injury.
Even when the victim survives a major shock, he or she is often left badly hurt. Electricity can cause severe burns and nerve damage. It can damage internal organs and the body part directly exposed to the current, possibly damaging the part beyond the ability of doctors to save it.
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While many electric shocks are due to unforeseeable, unavoidable accidents, often the victim was injured or killed because of another party’s negligence. This includes those injured because of a badly designed or manufactured product, or when the manufacturer fails to warn consumers of a serious potential for shock. Businesses that do not take consumer safety seriously enough can be held financially accountable to their victims.