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AEP worker shocked by 19K volts at construction site

Despite precautions, working with or near power lines can be dangerous, even deadly. Exposure to electric current can cause terrible injuries, and even electrocution, which is a fatal shock.

An Ohio man went into cardiac arrest after touching a live power line at a construction site recently. The Columbus Dispatch says he may have been exposed to as much as 19,000 volts. His current condition is unknown.

The victim works for American Electric Power. He was working at a construction site on the campus of the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority. It is not clear how this terrible accident occurred, but the shock also started a fire in an AEP work truck and a nearby utility pole.

The shocked worker suffered cardiac arrest and was flown to a hospital at Ohio State University. It appears he was still alive as of the evening of Aug. 20, the day he was injured, but the Dispatch had no more details.

According to the Mayo Clinic's website, the effects of electric shock include:

  • Severe burns
  • Breathing problems
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Seizure
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Muscle pain and contractions

Burns and damage to the heart can take months to recover from, if the victim ever fully heals. During recovery time, the victim of an electric shock at work may have no source of income, just as he or she is facing bills for medical care, rehabilitation and so on. For those seriously injured on the job, workers' compensation can help with these expenses until the victim can return to work.

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