Work Accidents Electrocution
Hundreds of workers die each year on the job due to electrocution. Electrocution is not just a danger for electricians; it can also affect construction workers, roofers, oilfield workers, and others. Electricity is present at most job sites, and workers are exposed to it.
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, electrocution accounted for 2.6% of all workplace fatalities in 2017. According to the same source, thousands more electrical injuries occur each year.
Frequent Causes of Electrocution
OSHA lists the following as the most common instances in which workers are electrocuted.
- Coming into contact with power lines – Overhead and underground power lines at a job site can be especially hazardous. Fatal electrocutions are the main risk when dealing with these types of power lines, along with burns and falls from high elevations. Workers can also be injured if tools and equipment make contact with the power lines.
- Improper ground-fault protection – Normal use of electrical equipment at a work site causes wear and tear that can result in short-circuits, insulation breaks, and exposed wires. Without ground-fault protection, these electrical issues result in electrical burns, skin damage, or even death to workers. They can also cause explosions, resulting in additional injured workers.
- Path to ground is discontinuous or missing – A current may travel through a worker’s body if the power supply to the electrical equipment at the job site has been broken or is not grounded. Even a properly grounded power system can instantly change from safe to hazardous in extreme weather conditions or as the result of rough handling of the electrical equipment.
- Worker does not use equipment as prescribed – Electrical equipment must be used only in the ways for which it was designed. Workers cannot depend on built-in safety features from the manufacturers, and must be adequately trained in the safe use of tools and equipment.
- Faulty use of flexible and extension cords – Normal wear and tear on extension and flexible cords at a worksite can loosen or expose wires. This creates hazardous conditions that may result in electrocution. Unfortunately, some employers and companies may require workers to use damaged, modified, or inadequate cords.
Workplace Injury Lawyers
Electrocution injuries are complex and have long lasting effects. Before facing an employer, third party contractor, or their representatives, it is crucial to have experienced representation in an electrocution case. If you or a loved one has suffered an electrical injury, you need to speak with a personal injury attorney who has the knowledge, resources, and experience to handle your case. To learn what the experienced electrical injury attorneys at Craft Law Firm can do for you, contact us today.