Construction workers—not only those who work with electricity—risk suffering serious injuries and death from electrical accidents at construction sites. Electrocutions are one of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s (OSHA) “fatal four” of construction accidents leading to workers’ deaths. According to OSHA, 8.6 percent of all construction workers’ deaths are caused by electrocutions.
Common Causes of Electrical Accidents At Construction Sites
Construction workers can be exposed to dangerous amounts of electrical currents in a number of ways. Common causes of these deadly accidents include:
- Being in contact with live power lines
- Failing to provide ground-fault protection for workers
- Failing to properly ground electrical equipment
- Not following manufacturer instructions
- Not using extension cords properly
Serious Injuries That Workers Can Suffer
Contact with as little as two amps of electricity can cause a construction worker to suffer serious injuries. Common injuries from electrical accidents fall into four main categories:
- Electrical shock
- Electrical burns
- Falls resulting from electrical accidents
The extent of a worker’s injuries will depend on a number of factors. Some of these include:
- The length of time he was exposed to an electrical current
- The amount of current that went through his body
- The path of the current through his body
- The amount of moisture present, including on his skin
- The voltage of the current going through his body
- The phase of his heart cycle at the time he is exposed to the electrical current
- His general health
Construction workers can suffer many life-threatening injuries from exposure to electrical currents. Common injuries can include:
- Cardiovascular. A worker can suffer the lack of cardiac rhythm or a chaotic and useless fluttering of his ventricles—often fatal if not treated immediately—and other heart problems.
- Respiratory. While these injuries are rarer, if the current passes through the chest muscles or the portion of the brain controlling breathing, the person can go into respiratory arrest where he stops breathing—with deadly results.
- Central nervous system. Victims of electrical accidents often fall and suffer additional injuries. These can include spinal cord injuries, head injuries, nerve damage, and seizures.
- Musculoskeletal. When victims fall after being shocked, they can suffer serious fractures and internal organ damage—sometimes permanent.
- Burns. A worker can suffer serious, disfiguring burns from contact with electricity.
If you were injured in an electrical accident, you could suffer life-altering injuries that could prevent you from ever returning to work. You may be entitled to compensation from your employer for your lost wages, medical bills, and more. Call our experienced legal team at (817) 380-4888 to schedule a free consultation to learn about your rights as a worker and how we can help you.