Protecting Workers against Electrocution and Electrical Workplace Hazards

electrical screenThere are several types of electrical injuries that can occur in the workplace, and the most serious of these is electrocution.

Many workers are frequently exposed to electrical energy in the course of their daily duties, and the risk of electrical injuries is always present. Some workers, however, may be at an even higher risk of electrical injuries and electrocutions than others.

Electrocution is a major risk in certain industries. For instance, in the construction industry, electrocution is one of the top four causes of fatalities every year. In 2014, electrocutions were responsible for 8% of all worker fatalities in private industry across the country.

While the construction sector sees more than its fair share of electrocution-related fatalities and electrical injuries every year, these risks exist in almost every workplace. Even when an electrocution does not result in a fatality, it can result in serious injury, and possibly long-term disability.

What are the common causes of electrocution in the workplace?

There are a number of reasons why electrocutions occur. Using malfunctioning equipment is a major risk factor. Extension cords that show signs of damage or wear and tear, tools with exposed wiring or other forms of malfunctioning equipment are a major electrical hazard. Another significant cause of electrocution on construction work sites is contact with overhead or underground power lines. These electrocutions are almost always serious or fatal. Apart from these, poor grounding, problems with electrical wiring, defective power lines, wet wiring, and overloaded circuits are also common causes of electrocution in the workplace.

An electrocution can cause almost instantaneous death, because it results in cardiac arrest and other heart problems. Persons who survive may also suffer from long-term neurological damage, brain injury, and possibly the need for amputation to the limbs that come in direct contact with the electrical source.

Injured workers may recover workers’ compensation for injuries sustained in the workplace. However, it is also important to identify if there were other parties that were responsible for the injuries, and therefore liable for losses. Complaints filed against such parties are called third-party claims. Speak to an Indiana construction accident attorney at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP to identify all liable parties in your claim.