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What Common Electrical Accidents Can Happen on Construction Sites?

Electricity is an essential part of construction, powering tools, lights, and other systems. However, it is also dangerous and must be used with caution. Workers may suffer permanent damage due to inadequate electrical safety precautions.

Some common types of electrical workplace accidents are listed below.

Power Line Accidents

Overhead and buried power lines are not always visible on construction sites. Employees working at heights or using metal ladders, scaffolding, or other tall equipment should be aware of nearby overhead lines. Low hanging overhead power lines are another hazard. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) advises staying at least 10 feet away from them.

When excavating, it is important to learn the location of any and all buried power lines. Touching one with construction equipment may lead to electrocution.

Arcing Accidents

An arc blast comes from molten material exploding. The force of the blast may lead to concussions or ear damage. An arc flash is a bright electrical discharge between conductors. Both blasts and flashes release high temperatures, leading to burns.

Poor Ground-Fault Protection

In electrical terminology, “ground” refers to a conductive connection to the earth. The OSHA mandates ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) on all construction sites. GFCIs breaks the circuit at a low current threshold, reducing the risk of electrical accidents.

Extension cords and plug in power tools experience wear and tear from frequent use. Operating these tools without GFCIs increases the risk of electrical accidents. Wet weather and failure to inspect for exposed wires and missing ground prongs may also lead to harm.

Faulty Lockout/Tagout Protections

A “lockout” is the act of applying physical locks to an energy source. Placing a tag to inform workers of shut off and locked out equipment and circuits is a “tagout.” Failure to follow proper lockout/tagout procedures means workers risk coming into contact with an energized current. This in turn can lead to severe injury or death.

Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits

With few exceptions, New Jersey employers are required to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance. Workers who are injured on the job, including from electricity, may be eligible for compensation for medical fees, temporary and permanent disability, and more. For fatal accidents, surviving family members may be eligible for partial wage replacement, reimbursed funeral costs, and more.

If you have been injured in an electrical accident on the job, you may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation. Try to file a claim as soon as possible. Hiring an experienced lawyer can help you get the full amount of coverage you are entitled to.

If you have been injured in an electrical construction site accident, contact one of our experienced Highland Park Workers’ Compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr. We will assist you with your claim and help determine what path is right for you. To schedule a free consultation, fill out our online form or call us at 732-537-8570. We are located in Highland Park, New Jersey, and we proudly 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, Colonia, Elizabeth, and Newark.

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