What to do if you get an electric shock

Accidents involving electricity can cause serious or even fatal injuries. These are the signs you should look for if someone has had an electric shock, and these are the injuries that must be treated at a hospital immediately.

Electrical injuries

External and internal burns, cardiac and breathing problems and kidney failure are some examples of injuries that can be caused by electricity or occur after an electric shock. Some injuries can also develop some time after an accident. Examples of these delayed injuries are mental problems, nerve damage or musculoskeletal problems.

Electric current through the body

When an electric current passes through a person’s body, for example from hand to hand or hand to foot, this is called an electric shock. People who suffer an electric shock should always get to hospital quickly.

Report electrical injuries

If someone has suffered an electrical accident, the first thing they must do is contact the health services. This is important, not only for medical reasons, but also because of employment and welfare legislation.

If a person is injured in an accident caused by electricity, the injury must be reported to DSB via this electronic form. DSB uses the information on reported electrical accidents in its statistics and also in its continuing efforts to change people’s attitudes.

Electrical accidents that occur during working hours or in the workplace must also be reported to the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority and police, depending on the degree of severity.

Prevent electrical injuries

To prevent electrical injuries, you should ensure that your electrical system is well maintained. Leave maintenance and any extension work to qualified professionals who will do the job legally.

You must go to hospital immediately if you

  • Have come into contact with high-voltage electricity
  • Have been struck by lightning
  • Have had an electric shock
  • Have lost consciousness or felt dazed immediately after the accident
  • Have suffered burns, or
  • Have signs of nerve damage

 Signs of nerve damage

  • Paralysis
  • Speech problems
  • Balance problems
  • Numbness
  • Loss of sensation

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