Angel ReactBook your demo!

The hazards of electrical accidents

The invisible danger – the risks of electricity

Electricity has changed the world. But it may also change your world if specific safety rules are ignored. Despite many well-documented, life-threatening, and often lethal electrical accidents, electricity’s danger is still underrated and belittled. Why? Because electricity is odorless, invisible, and cannot be detected with our human senses. In the proverb „Out of mind, out of sight, “we forget its dangers. It is precisely for this reason that constant and repetitive awareness-raising measures regarding electrical accidents are instrumental, even so for the experienced because routine is a common reason for accidents.

Nonetheless, even experienced workers often don’t know in which condition they find an electrical installation. Most electrical accidents are caused by low voltage. Houses are usually equipped with alternating current of 230 volts, and with direct hand-hand contact, several hundred milliamperes can flow – cardiac arrhythmia may already occur from 2.5 milliamperes, 3.0-5.0 milliamperes may lead to a respiratory arrest for the duration of current flow through the body. The likeliness of an electrical accident is 2-3 times higher than of other accidents.


Darstellung einer Hand mit Stromdurchfluss

Injuries due to electrical accidents – manifold and undetected

Electricity is invisible, and its repercussions on the body are manifold and often not immediately visible. For instance, an electric shock burst red blood cells, hemoglobin leaks out, which may finally lead to kidney failure. Higher amperage may lead to electrolyte abnormalities in our blood, which in return lead to gas bubbles, possibly ending in life-threatening vascular obstruction.

An electric shock further contracts our lungs and diaphragm, leading to difficulty breathing or even respiratory arrest, consequently leading to unconsciousness. Electricity flowing through our body additionally causes our muscles to convulse. Our body may be trapped in the electric circuit, and muscles may be strained or torn. Muscular convulsion and the escape rebound may lead to secondary injuries, i.e., bruises, sprains, and fractures.

Additionally, electric shocks may leave entry and exit marks on our bodies. These are often high-degree burns, depending on amperage. Electrical accidents may finally cause cardiac arrhythmia or ventricular fibrillation. Although the heartbeats it doesn’t pump enough blood, leading to cardiac arrest is its last consequence.


Ventricular fibrillation & its consequences

Every accident at work has to be registered, first and foremost, to treat consequential injuries by a professional medical team. As mentioned above, not all injuries are immediately felt or seen; for instance, ventricular fibrillation may occur only hours after the accident. Electrical mini-impulses make our heartbeat. However, an electric shock tosses our electrolyte balance off, and the electrical mini-impulses necessary for our heart peter out over the following hours. Once the impulses are not strong enough, our heartbeats irregularly jump or flickers.



One of the basic safety rules for working with the hazardous current is wearing appropriate protective clothing. ADRESYS has developed the ANGEL system as additional protection. Every millisecond counts to avoid long-term and life-threatening injuries such as ventricular fibrillation or sepsis in an electric accident. Attached to your T-shirt sleeve, ANGEL guards over you and automatically calls help in case of an electric accident or fall. It forwards the latest GPS-data automatically to your colleagues, rescue & medical teams. With ANGEL, you feel safe even when working on your own.

The healthier the employees, the better the company functions

Doctor Gräf, as an occupational physician, how would you explain the term “occupational medicine”?

Occupational medicine is a preventive medical discipline. It aims to maintain, promote and restore the health and performance of working people, involving the body and the psyche.
The aim is to improve health literacy and make employees more aware of their work behaviour.
At the same time, however, it is also a question of the conditions provided by the company – the workplace, the work equipment, the working time system, and the working environment factors such as noise or air.
Occupational medicine aims to ensure that people do not become ill due to their employment. And that is up to the employees individually, but above all to the company.

Why do you think it is essential for companies to have good occupational health care?

First of all, there is a duty of care for employees in all companies; the aim is to prevent work-related complaints or illnesses. This is where occupational medicine provides support.
In addition, job seekers are now looking very closely at what they can expect from their future company. Safety and health protection plays a significant role here.
At the moment, companies are making great efforts to find employees. In times of a shortage of skilled workers, offering employees additional incentives, such as childcare in the company, an indoor meal plan, or possibly even a four-day week, is all the more critical.
A canteen, for example, means less time spent on a hot meal, childcare means shorter commutes and thus less stress. We can advise on these issues as well.
It is essential to create healthy working conditions – because the more beneficial the employees, the better the company functions.

And what do you think is the most important thing companies can do for the health of their employees?

Here, “healthy leadership” is an important point. The term has become more critical in recent years – managers need not only professional skills but also good social skills. They must recognise when their employees are not doing well and then look at what needs to be changed to make the working relationship fit again.
A sense of good and fair work distribution also plays a significant role so that people who cannot say no are not overwhelmed with tasks.
In addition, the company must ensure that people are allowed to accept the opportunities that occupational health and safety offers. For example, people should not have the feeling that they are not allowed to go to an occupational physician or occupational psychologist when they are not feeling well.

So, it’s very much up to the managers?

We have to train managers in their duty of care. They must also ensure an excellent working atmosphere, especially now after Corona, when everyone is so stressed.

What trends do you see in occupational medicine for the future?

Occupational medicine has to stay on the ball regarding new technologies; in recent years, for example, this has been nanotechnology.
Precarious working conditions will increasingly occupy us. If someone has three part-time jobs, you have to make sure that person has access to occupational health care somehow, so through AUVA, responsible for companies with fewer than 50 employees.

We have to look at new working time models, especially after Corona. Home office, as well as the general dissolution of limits on working hours, meaning that the separation of work and leisure time is becoming difficult.
In addition, the issue of reintegration into the world of work, for example, after Long Covid, exhaustion or severe illness, is essential. Part-time reintegration is a great way to get back into the workplace slowly. It has been possible in Austria since 2017 but is not enshrined in law. Both employees and employers must agree to such an arrangement.

Is there anything you can pass on to us as manufacturers of occupational safety products?

It is important that there is good cooperation between the preventive forces of safety technology and occupational medicine, the company and the manufacturers. Different measures are needed to prevent or reduce hazards. The medical and safety assessment of occupational safety products provides the best possible protection. Therefore, always involve occupational medicine and safety engineering when the company makes inquiries, for the benefit of the health of the employees.

Thank you very much for the interview!

Bild einer Person an einem textilen Arbeitsplatz

Interview with Texible

ANGEL is our venture to produce innovative and intelligent textile systems. Interdisciplinary cooperation with our partners is of utmost importance. Hence, we would love to introduce Thomas Fröis and his team from Texible GmbH.

Our brand metamorphosis: ANGEL becomes ANGEL React

🦸🏾 The transformation is complete. ANGEL is now called ANGEL React and shines with a new design. And soon with new accident features. Want to learn more about our brand metamorphosis? Then check out our blog!