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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course OSHA Electrical Safety for Healthcare Personnel. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Factors that Determine the Degree of Electricity-induced Injury

The degree of electricity-induced injury is dependent on:
  • AMOUNT: This refers to the amount of electrical energy that is delivered. The risk of severe injury increases when there is contact with a higher electrical voltage or current.
  • RESISTANCE: The resistance encountered will vary, depending on where the electrical current passes through the body.
  • TYPE: There are two types of current, known as alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC).
  • PATHWAY: There are certain tissues/body sites that, if located in the pathway of the current, will greatly increase the severity of the injury received.
  • DURATION: The risk of severe injury is greater the longer the length of time the body remains in contact with the electrical current.