Workplace Injury: Electrocution
Common Causes for Electrical Injury
Unfortunately, workers in the construction field often suffer electric shock injuries during their work. The most common reason for electric injuries is contact with the electric current of a machine, tool, appliance, or light fixture. The second common reason is contact with wiring, transformers, or other electrical components, but other causes include contact with power lines and unspecified electric currents. Some employees receive injuries from work performed inappropriately on energized equipment, but sometimes company deadlines and demands cause employees to take shortcuts when completing projects, ultimately causing the injuries.
National Electrical Code
Workers may not be aware that states require companies to comply with the National Electrical Code, which codifies the minimum requirements for safe electrical installations in a single, standardized source. The NEC sets the foundation for electrical safety in residential, commercial, and industrial occupancies, and company protocols that fail to align with the NEC are considered illegal. The NEC consists of nineteen code-making panels and a technical correlating committee. To ensure safety guidelines are up to date with the latest technology, the organization’s policies undergo revision every three years.
Preventing Electrical Injuries
There are certain safety measures that construction workers—and any other employees completing electrical work—can take to avoid electric injuries. Because a considerable amount of electrocutions are caused by contact with power lines, it’s essential that employees be continually aware of these lines locations on the site and complete the following steps:
- An employee should keep ladders, power tools, and their bodies at least ten feet away from power lines while working
- If an object comes close to or touches a power line, do not touch that object
- Low voltage does not mean low hazard
- Be sure to inspect all power tool cords before using them. Any damaged wires must be labeled unusable and repaired by a professional
- Be sure to unplug tools before cleaning or fixing them
- Do not use a plug if the ground prongs are removed
- Be sure to keep any work area dry when working. Water and electricity are a dangerous combination
What to Do if You’re Injured on the Job
Although electrocution are not always fatal, they can result in lifelong injuries, such as organ problems, cognitive problems, disfigurement, sensory issues, and burn injuries. Depending on the severity of the injury, some employees may qualify for temporary or permanent disability. If an employee suffers fatal injuries, then the employee’s family can receive death benefits.
At Los Angeles Injury Group, our attorneys have years of experience helping clients receive the maximum amount of workers’ compensation for electric injuries. We understand that electrical injuries are extremely dangerous and may require prolonged medical treatment. Therefore, we do everything within our power to ensure our clients receive proper compensation for their injuries. Although employers are required by law to cover work injury expenses, some employers fail to provide sufficient funding. If you, or someone you know received electric injuries, call (310) 954-7248 for a free consultation.