Nov 2021

Electrocutions Remain Major Cause Of Construction Site Injuries

Construction worker uses electric welder at work site.

A construction accident attorney discusses the dangers

Many gains have been made in making construction worksites safer for all, but fatalities and serious injuries due to electrocution remain an issue.

More than half of all workplace electrocutions reported each year take place at a construction site, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Causes of construction worker electrocutions

In New England, there are about five electrocution-related deaths per year and many more serious injuries. The most common causes of worker electrical injuries include:

  • Contact with power lines
  • Lack of ground-fault protection
  • Path to ground missing or discontinuous
  • Equipment not used in the manner prescribed
  • Improper use of extension and flexible cords

Misused equipment is a contributing factor in a lot of electrocution injuries at work. These situations include things like:

  • Using multi-receptacle boxes designed to be mounted by fitting them with a power cord and placing them on the floor
  • Using equipment outdoors that is labeled for use only in dry, indoor locations
  • Using circuit breakers or fuses with the wrong rating for over-current protection, like using a 30-amp breaker in a system with 15-20 amp capabilities
  • Using modified cords or tools like those that have removed ground prongs, faceplates, or insulation

Your right to a safe work environment

In the U.S., all employees have a right to a safe work environment for their chosen field. This means that a safe work environment for an office worker has different standards than those on a construction job site.

When working with electricity and around high voltage, your employer owes you a degree of safety as defined by federal and state law. In one year, the electrical contractor and wiring installer industry was assessed $1.4 million in penalties, according to OSHA.

Standards most frequently ignored in this industry usually involve:

  • Aerial lifts
  • Ladders
  • Lack of safety training and education
  • Stairways
  • Respiratory protection
  • Lack of fall protection
  • Unavailable, inadequate, or damaged personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Lockout and tagging of circuits
  • Hazard communication
  • Vehicle-mounted elevating and rotating work platforms

Fight for the compensation you deserve

Work injuries can be serious and life-altering incidents. Especially in instances of electrocution, recovery is often a long and expensive process. Workers’ compensation benefits are meant to help you through this time and cover your medical costs, but the process of obtaining benefits is often complex.

Navigating the workers’ comp system can be a challenge, and if you’re not careful, you could miss out on the benefits you’re entitled to. Depending on the details of your electrical accident, you may also be able to pursue compensation from a liable third party.

If you were seriously hurt or a loved one died in an accident at work, you can learn your legal rights and options by scheduling a free case evaluation with an experienced construction accident lawyer.

With three locations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, our law firm has extensive experience helping injured workers recover the compensation they need and deserve.

To find out what we can do for you, contact us today.

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