Electrical Accident Injuries to Construction Site Employees
Electrical injuries are often serious, and they are a common occurrence on building construction sites. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, electrocutions are the third most common cause of death among construction workers in the United States.
Types of Electrical Injuries
Some of the most common types of construction site electrocution injuries include:
- Burns. Contact with high voltage, generally defined as being more than 1,000 volts, typically results in burns. These burns are known as flash or flame injuries, and they are caused by direct contact with high voltage current, intense flashes of light, or powerful thermal radiation. In addition to burn injuries at the point of contact, workers are likely to also sustain serious necrosis, or tissue death.
- Ventricular fibrillation. Exposure to electricity can cause ventricular fibrillation, when electrical current flows through the heart muscle. The resulting interruption in normal heart rhythms can be life-threatening, requiring emergency medical treatment.
- Fall injuries. When construction workers make contact with power lines, the resulting shock often causes them to fall. This can lead to serious secondary injuries, including damage to the skeletal system, broken and fractured bones, and injury to muscles, joints, and ligaments.
- Death. Tragically, construction site electrocutions frequently result in death.
Preventing Electrocution Injuries
Employers have a duty to maintain appropriate safety standards, and they endanger their employees when they fail to do so. Employers can protect construction workers from electrical injuries by:
- Supplying ground-fault circuit interrupters.
- Ensuring correct usage of flexible cords.
- Maintaining power tools to ensure safe operation.
- Providing safety training.
- Isolating electrical parts.
- Ensuring safety of overhead power lines.
- Establishing and implementing an equipment grounding conductor program.
When construction industry employers fail to protect their workers from electrical accidents, they are responsible for the resulting injuries. If you’ve suffered electrical injuries, you need an experienced construction accident attorney who knows how to identify employer safety violations. To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.