Construction Workers and Electrocution Accidents
The risk of electrocution for construction workers is high and is the fourth leading cause of death in construction accidents. Construction workers are killed annually by electrocution each year in the United States. Electricians, ironworkers, roofers, HVAC technicians, refrigeration mechanics, carpenters, and equipment operators face a serious threat of encountering electrical hazards during their work.
Common Causes of Electrical Accidents
A construction site is a busy and dangerous place. Heavy machinery, scaffolding, ladders, power equipment, construction vehicles, and dangerous weather conditions pose serious risks to construction workers each day. The number of fatal electrocutions is astounding, but what makes these figures even more disturbing is that most accidents can be prevented. The National Fire Protection Association conducted an analysis that found construction workers accounted for 68 percent of electrocution fatalities. The most common causes of electrocution and electrical accidents in the construction industry include:
- Contact with Overhead Power Lines and Electrical Transformers: When construction workers are working at high elevations, the risk of meeting power lines increases dramatically. Even the most conscientious and safety-minded construction worker can accidentally meet an overhead wire that can kill them instantly.
- Lack of Proper Training: One of the easiest ways to reduce the number of electrical accidents that happen on construction sites is to ensure that all workers are properly trained on the hazards associated with electricity. Workers must be trained to understand how electricity travels, how it is conducted, and how to properly handle electrical equipment to protect themselves from electrocution and injury.
- Failure to Wear Personal Protective Equipment: All employers and construction contractors are obligated to supply their construction workers with proper personal protective equipment to reduce their risk of electrocution. Rubber soled shoes, insulated gloves, non-conductive clothing, matting, blankets, and line hoses can help prevent serious injury and death when working with electrical equipment and components.
- Damaged or Poorly Maintained Electric Tools: Regular inspection and proper maintenance of electric tools, such as nail guns, staple guns, and power saws can help prevent serious accidents. Cords should be inspected for small tears and breaks, electrical components need to be properly maintained, and safety features on power tools should always be used.
- Lack of Lock Out/Tag Out Procedures: Lock Out/Tag Out procedures should be posted by all power equipment. Safety features should be identified, and emergency response procedures should be available for review. All construction workers should be trained on the proper use of these safety features.
- Storing and Using Conductive Equipment by Power Lines: Many electrocutions occur when electricity is conducted by metal beams, equipment, tools, and ladders. Keep this type of conductive equipment away from overhead power lines and live electrical circuits.
Highland Park Construction Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Advocate for Construction Worker Safety
Prevention is key to reducing the risk of electrical injuries and death on construction sites. If you have been injured in a construction accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the Highland Park construction accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr at 732-537-8570 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our Highland Park, New Jersey offices serve clients in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.