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Protecting workers from electrocution at work

Missouri residents who work with electricity have been using portable voltmeters for more than 10 years. These devices help electrical workers identify active currents so that they can be turned off. They have helped to substantially reduce the risk of individuals suffering workplace electrocutions.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandates that workers use a six-part test to make certain that electrical currents have been turned off when they are undergoing lockouts and tagouts. The portable voltmeters meet OSHA's minimum requirements. Now there is a new potential solution that may replace portable voltmeters.

The Absence of Voltage Tester is a system that is permanently mounted in the workplace. It automatically checks for currents during lockouts and tagouts. While this device may provide even more safety, OSHA has not ruled on whether they will be allowed to be used in place of portable voltmeters. It is also unclear whether electrical workers would be willing to give up their portable voltmeters in settings that have AVTs installed. Some large companies have installed permanent electrical safety devices inside of their electrical equipment, which helps reduce the risks of shocks.

Electrocutions may result in serious injuries and deaths. People who are shocked while they are working are entitled to apply for workers' compensation benefits. The families of workers who have been killed after being electrocuted at work may also be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. An experienced workers' compensation attorney may help his or her clients to recover the benefits that they should receive. Injured workers may have all of their medical and rehabilitation expenses paid for, and they may also receive benefits to pay them a portion of the income that they used to earn. Surviving spouses and dependent children may recover death benefits to replace a percentage of the worker's income as well as funeral and burial costs.

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