Electrical Accidents on Construction Sites
Constructions sites are some of the most dangerous workplaces in America. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 1,000 workers were killed in construction accidents in 2016, and many thousands more were injured. Construction workers confront many hazards, from falls to being struck by heavy machinery or materials. Electrical accidents are also a common problem.
Based on statistics, around 140 construction workers die each year from electrocution and many more suffer electrical injuries. The causes of these accidents vary, but if a construction company or another party was to blame, you likely have important legal rights. If you have been injured or lost a loved one, contact Slappey & Sadd today at 404.255.6677 to discuss a possible case.Causes of Electrocution Injuries
An electrical accident can unfold in many ways. At Slappey & Sadd, we have seen workers electrocuted because of the following:
- Unsafe tools and defective equipment
- Exposes wires
- Wires that are not properly grounded
- Poor lighting
- Fallen power lines
- Improperly marked construction zones
Many people can be at fault for electrical accidents. In some cases, workers’ compensation benefits may be available no matter who was at fault. If a third party was negligent, an injured accident victim may hold that third party liable for their losses. This may include contractors, manufacturers of defective products, and more. An attorney can help you determine your options for compensation for your losses.Common Electrical Injuries
Electrical currents can cause serious damage, both internally and externally. While external injuries may be immediately obvious, internal injuries can be life-threatening and should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. The injuries a construction worker will suffer depends on a variety of factors, such as:
- The voltage of the current
- The construction worker’s overall health
- How much current flows through the body
- The length of exposure to electrical current
Generally, if the electricity has a low voltage—less than 500 volts—the average person should not suffer significant injuries. However, when the voltage increases past 500 volts, a victim can suffer more serious injuries.
Victims can suffer many injuries, such as:
- Burns - Burns are usually the most serious at the point of contact with the electrical source or where the electrical current exited the body. Serious burns can damage many layers of skin and tissue and may require extensive and painful treatment, including require removal of dead tissue and skin grafts. Burns can also cause disfigurement.
- Organ injuries - The electrical current can burn and damage internal organs, especially the heart. After any electrical accident, getting help right away is imperative to diagnose any possible internal injuries.
- Brain damage - A victim can suffer seizures, depression, shock, and permanent cognitive impairment after electrocution.
- Vision or hearing damage - Some construction workers might be blinded or lose their hearing. Even if they do not completely lose sensory abilities, they could still suffer a partial loss.
- Broken bones - Sometimes, the electrocution causes a construction worker to fall from a great height. As a result, they suffer additional injuries when they hit the ground, suffering concussions, spinal cord injuries, fractures, and organ damage.
Emergency medical treatment can mean the difference between life and death, or between recovering quickly from your injuries or struggling with disabilities for years to come. You may need a ride in an ambulance for emergency trauma care. You should always undergo a full medical evaluation as soon as possible and follow all treatment recommendations.
You should also report the electrocution to your employer. You might qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, but you need to give your employer proper notification. Avoid delay. Notification can also protect your coworkers, who might also get electrocuted if your employer does not eliminate a safety hazard.
If you are trying to help someone who has been electrocuted, your first priority should be to avoid getting electrocuted yourself. For that reason, you should not rush up to help someone lying on the ground, since the electrical current could still be flowing through them. Sometimes, the best thing to do is call emergency services to come out to the construction site. Only move to help someone if you are sure you will not be electrocuted yourself.Electrical Safety
Not all electrical accidents can be avoided. However, may reduce the likelihood of getting electrocuted at a construction site by following some safety tips:
- Always use caution around power sources.
- Do not use electrical equipment while standing in water.
- Assume that overhead wires carry electricity and do not touch them. Instead, always keep about ten feet between you and the powerline just to be safe.
- If a power line falls, do not touch it. Instead, report the fall to a supervisor, who can call the utility company.
- Do not repair electrical cords unless you have sufficient experience and knowledge about how to do so safely.
- When using equipment, follow the directions and obey safety warnings.
By following these safety tips, you can reduce the number of electrical accidents, even if you cannot completely eliminate them. You cannot prevent another party’s negligence, so always be prepared for what to do in the event of an accident.Speak With an Atlanta Construction Accident Attorney Today
Electrocution accidents leave many construction workers sidelined for months as they try to recover. Accident victims often face piles of medical bills and lost income during their recovery.
If you have suffered electrical injuries, you might have legal options for compensation, and you need an experienced personal injury attorney in Atlanta to review your case. Possible options include filing an insurance claim or suing the manufacturer of defective equipment or the job site owner for not correcting hazards.
Contact us today. We offer a free initial case review that allows you to ask any questions you have and lets us learn more about your case. You can call 404.255.6677 or send an online message.