Construction workers have one of the highest rates of serious and fatal injuries among all industries. When a construction worker is a victim of an electrical accident, the results are often catastrophic. The Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety & Health (ELCOSH) reports that electrical accidents are the fourth leading cause of fatal injuries among construction workers.
What makes these statistics even more grim is the fact that most construction accidents involving electricity can be prevented with proper training and careful attention to safety precautions. Electrical accidents are most common among electricians but may also happen to non-electrical workers who come into contact with high voltage when working near a live feed or with electrical equipment. According to ELCOSH, approximately 150 construction workers are fatally injured each year when they come into contact with live electrical wires.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports a large portion of electrical accidents occur when boomed vehicles come into contact with a live powerline. The boom acts as a conductor, feeding the electricity through the workers operating the equipment or those physically touching the vehicle. Electrical equipment that is damaged and not properly installed or maintained is another source of electrical hazard. When workers are not properly trained on which types of equipment and tools are conductors of electricity, serious accidents and death can result.
Injuries resulting from electrical accidents can result in devastating life-long health complications and disabilities. Victims of electrocution can suffer cardiac arrest when the electrical surge disrupts the heart muscle and causes electric shock. Muscle, nerve, and tissue damage throughout the body can be extensive and result in permanent disability. Electrical burns are some of the most painful injuries that can occur and require long periods of recuperation, surgeries, and physical therapy. Victims are often scarred for life with disfiguring burns. Amputations of the arms and legs are sometimes necessary in the case of widespread third-degree burns.
Responsibility for the prevention of electrical accidents rests heavily on the employers of construction workers. Employers must ensure that their work sites are safe and free from unnecessary electrical hazards. Workers must be properly trained in the handling and dangers associated with electrical equipment and tools. All work site materials and equipment should be properly maintained and regularly inspected for signs of wear or damage. Electrical power lines and power cords should be isolated and have ground fault circuit interrupters.
Construction workers should practice safety measures and follow safety precautions when working around electricity. Maintaining a safe distance from overhead power lines and inspecting power tools and equipment for damages can prevent serious injury. Power tools should only be used for their intended purposes, and extension cords should be well maintained and disposed of when damaged in any way.
If you have suffered an electrical work-related injury, the Cherry Hill construction accident lawyers at Williams Cedar can help you claim the compensation you deserve. Call our Philadelphia office at 215-557-0099 or our Haddonfield, New Jersey office at 856-470-9777 to schedule a free consultation today. You can also contact us online.