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Electrical Incidents Photo Examples of Burns and Other Injuries

Electrical Burns

Entrance Wound: High resistance of skin transforms electrical energy into heat, which produces burns around the entrance point (dark spot in center of wound). This man was lucky, the current narrowly missed his spinal cord.

Entrance wound where electric current entered a man's back, narrowly missing his spinal cord

Exit Wound: Current flows through the body from the entrance point, until finally exiting where the body is closest to the ground. This foot suffered massive internal injuries, which weren't readily visible, and had to be amputated a few days later.

Exit wound seen on the bottom of a foot where electric current exited the body
Arc or Flash Burns

This man was near a power box when an electrical explosion occurred. Though he did not touch the box, electricity arced through the air and entered his body. The current was drawn to his armpits because perspiration is very conductive.

Arc burns from electricity arcing through the air and entering a man's body at his armpits
Thermal Contact Burns

Current exited this man at his knees, catching his clothing on fire and burning his upper leg.

Thermal contact burn on a man's legs caused by clothing catching on fire where electric current exited his body
Internal Injuries

This worker was shocked by a tool he was holding. The entrance wound and thermal burns from the overheated tool are apparent.

Entrance wound and thermal burns to a worker's hand caused by electrical shock from an overheated tool he was using

Same hand a few days later, when massive subcutaneous tissue damage had caused severe swelling (swelling usually peaks 24-72 hours after electrical shock). To relieve pressure which would have damaged nerves and blood vessels, the skin on the arm was cut open.

A worker's hand and forearm showing where the skin was cut open to relieve pressure caused by swelling from massive subcutaneous tissue damage resulting from electrical shock
Involuntary Muscle Contraction

This worker fell and grabbed a powerline to catch himself. The resulting electric shock mummified his first two fingers, which had to be removed. The acute angle of the wrist was caused by burning of the tendons, which contracted, drawing the hand with them.

A worker's hand and wrist showing involuntary muscle contraction and mummified fingers resulting from electric shock
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