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NYC Sea, Air, Space Museum Accident Shows Danger Of Electrical Work

Two people were hospitalized for electrical burns after working on a faulty transformer Tuesday outside the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in Manhattan. The museum workers suffered burns to their arms, according to the NYC Fire Department. The malfunctioning transformer caused the museum to stay closed on Tuesday.

The injured employees are fortunate to have survived. Electrical accidents are among the most deadly type of construction accidents in the U.S. Specifically, contact with electrical transformers caused 49 deaths in 2010, the most recent year reported by the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).

The museum accident would probably be classified as a private industry electrical accident. In the private industry, the nonfatal electrical accident rate is usually at 0.2 injuries per 100,000 workers – fairly low when compared to the construction and utilities industries.

The construction industry reached a nonfatal electrical injury rate of 0.7 per 10,000 workers in 2009 and utility workers faced a 0.6 nonfatal injury rate in 2010.

What can we take away from the accident at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum? Electrical burn accidents occur in all industries, not just construction and utilities, so workers need to avoid getting in over their head when dealing with electrical hazards. If you think there might be danger, call in a specialist.

Source: Reuters, “Three Hurt In Electrical Accident At NYC Sea, Air, Space Museum,” July 8, 2014

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