Electrical injury in relation to voltage, ”no-let-go” phenomenon, symptoms and perceived safety culture: a survey of Swedish male electricians

Lisa Rådman, Ylva Nilsagård, Kristina Jakobsson, Åsa Ek, Lars-Gunnar Gunnarsson

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PURPOSE: Professional electricians are highly subjected to electrical injuries. Previous studies describing symptoms after electrical injury have not included people with less severe initial injuries. The purpose of the present study was to describe symptoms at different time points after electrical injury, the impact of "no-let-go" phenomenon and different electrical potential [high voltage (HV) vs. low voltage (LV)], and the safety culture at the workplace.

METHODS: A retrospective survey was conducted with 523 Swedish electricians. Two questionnaires were issued: the first to identify electricians who had experienced electrical injury and the second to gain information about symptoms and safety culture. Self-reported symptoms were described at different time points following injury. Symptoms for HV and LV accidents were compared. Occurrence or nonoccurrence of "no-let-go" phenomenon was analysed using two-tailed Chi-2. Safety culture was assessed with a validated questionnaire.

RESULTS: Nearly all reported having symptoms directly after the injury, mainly paraesthesia and pain. For the first weeks after injury, pain and muscle weakness dominated. The most frequently occurring symptoms at follow-up were pain, muscle weakness and loss of sensation. HV injuries and "no-let go" phenomenon were associated with more sustained symptoms. Deficiencies in the reporting routines were present, as well as shortage of preventive measures.

CONCLUSION: The results indicate that symptoms are reported also long time after an electrical injury and that special attention should be paid to HV injuries and "no-let go" accidents. The workplace routines to reduce the number of work-related electrical injuries for Swedish electricians can be improved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-270
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health


  • safety management
  • neurological symptoms
  • pain
  • high-voltage injury
  • low-voltage injury
  • electrical injury


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