Missouri construction workers face a high risk of electrocution in the workplace.
Electrocution is one of the many risks that construction workers face each day at work. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly 350 construction workers suffer fatal electrocution in the workplace each year, and many others are severely injured.
Most construction sites are high voltage environments, and workers need the power to light up the workplace and to operate machinery. They are also responsible for installing wiring, light fixtures, and power outlets. All these tasks increase the chances of electricity-related accidents. In this post, our Kansas City Workers Compensation Lawyer will discuss electrocution accidents in the construction industry.
Causes of electrocution accidents
While not all electrical accidents are deadly, but they almost always cause injuries. Electrocutions are severe, and a worker who suffers electrocution is unexpectedly and suddenly exposed to dangerous amounts of electrical current, which can cause burns, respiratory distress, cardiac arrest, and other injuries. Also, it is not only electrical trauma that can cause injuries. Workers can suffer injuries such as broken bones when the electric shock causes them to fall from scaffolding or ladders. According to OSHA, some of the common causes of electrical accidents on construction sites are:
- Failure to follow manufacturer’s guidelines
- Contact with power lines
- Lack of ground-fault protection
- Improper use of flexible and extension cords
- Improper grounding of electrical equipment
The severity of injuries sustained by construction workers involved in an electrical accident depends on several factors include:
- How long the worker was exposed to the current
- The path of electric current to the body
- The amount of current that flowed through the body
- The voltage of the current
- The presence of moisture in the environment
- The phase of the heart cycle when the electric shock occurs
- The general health of the worker
The higher the level of electric current the worker is exposed to, the greater is the damage. According to OSHA, a worker who is exposed to 1mA of electric current would feel only a mild tingling sensation. The electric current measuring 6-16 mA is known as the “let go” zone, and the worker is still able to remove him/herself from the electricity source. Beyond this, the worker cannot let go and is likely to suffer severe injuries and even death.
Even if the worker survives electrocution, he/she is likely to suffer from long term effects including:
- Nerve damage
- Brain injuries
- Heart problems
- Hearing, vision and speaking problems
- Permanent organ damage
- Disfigurement from burns
There are federal standards in place to protect the workers from deadly electrical accidents, but many supervisors and site managers fail to adhere to these laws, and the consequences are almost always fatal.
Worker compensation benefits for electrocution injuries
Construction workers who suffer electrocution injuries at work are generally entitled to workers compensation benefits. If you have suffered injuries, and need help with your claim, you should get in touch with an experienced Kansas City Work Injury Lawyer. Give us a call today at (816) 399-3706 for a free consultation.