Reports: Workers Across U.S. Suffer Electrical Injuries

A spate of on-the-job electrical injuries has health and safety officials hoping to raise awareness about this serious and potentially fatal issue. dangerelectricwires

Electrocutions are one of the “Construction Fatal Four” in terms of the commonality of the problem on job sites. Given that 1 in 5 work-related deaths occurs in the construction industry, the fact that electrocution is the No. 2 cause of death for construction workers makes it a major problem. And it’s not just those within the construction industry that need to worry because electricity is in virtually every workplace. The potential for danger is there.

Our Winston-Salem workers’ compensation attorneys know that employees who suffer electrical shock or surviving dependents of those electrocuted may seek benefits through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. They may additionally want to explore third-party litigation if there is evidence someone else was negligent in causing the hazard or failing to warn about it. 

Among the recent electrical safety hazard cases reported:

  • A 35-year-old worker was left in critical condition after he suffered an electrical shock at an Ohio fairgrounds location as he was tearing down the bumper car ride. As of this writing, he remains in a coma. Initial investigation shows the man was on top of the ride with two others when they heard it suddenly start up. When the other workers looked up, they saw the victim laying on the roof. The worker, who is engaged and has a young daughter, began work for the manufacturer of the ride about three weeks ago.
  • A California utility worker was shocked by a power line in El Cajon outside of San Diego recently. The incident was working in a basket of one of the company vehicles when the worker was shocked by the power line. He was being treated at a local hospital with serious injuries.
  • A construction worker, 38, was killed in Kansas City, MO when he came in contact with power lines while on a lift truck. The circumstances of his death are being investigated by OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration).
  • A worker in Tennessee was killed while cleaning vents on top of a restaurant in Jefferson City. Authorities believe the 67-year-old worker apparently came into contact with live electrical lines. He’d been working on the roof for about two hours. Employees spotted him lying on his left side and called 911. Emergency crews arrived within 1 minute, but they were unable to revive him and he was pronounced dead at the local hospital.
  • A worker in Alaska was electrocuted in Anchorage. The 57-year-old worker was reportedly operating a well-drilling boom truck when the boom came in contact with live wires overhead and killed the operator.

All these incidents occurred within the span of just a few days this month.

OSHA reports that the major types of electrocution hazards on-the-job are:

  • Contact with overhead power lines (voltages can range from 120 to 750,000 volts);
  • Contact with energized sources (i.e., defective equipment or tools, damaged wires, bare wires or live parts);
  • Improper use of flexible and extension cords.

Workers are best to assume that all overhead wires are energized at voltages that are lethal and never assume a wire is safe to touch, even if it’s down and even if it appears insulated. Electrical cords or equipment should never be repaired by someone who isn’t authorized and any electrical equipment should be avoided if it or the operator is in standing water. The bottom line: Always use caution when working with electricity.

If you have been injured at work, contact the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:

Worker injured at Cuyahoga County Fair remains in coma, Aug. 16, 2016, By Jen Steer, FOX8

More Blog Entries:

Kronberg v. Oasis Petroleum – Worker Electrocution and Third-Party Litigation, Aug. 11, 2016, Winston-Salem Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog

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