Electrocutions rank third among OSHA’s “fatal four” leading causes of death in the construction industry. According to OSHA statistics, electrocutions were the cause of 8.6 percent of all worker deaths in the U.S. in one recent year.
As discussed in an article published by The Center for Construction Research and Training, an average of 143 deaths occur every year when construction workers come into contact with electricity. Construction occupations with the most electrocution fatalities include:
The Long Island construction accident lawyers at Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, represent workers and their families in cases of electrocution and other serious injuries from construction accidents. Construction workers injured on the job may have several legal remedies, depending on the circumstances.
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It is the nature of electricity to travel in a closed circuit through a conductor. When a human body becomes part of the electrical circuit, current travels through the body. Electric shock occurs when a worker comes into contact with both wires of an energized circuit simultaneously, with the ground and one wire, or with the ground and a metal object in contact with one wire of an energized circuit.
As reported by OSHA, the most common ways construction workers sustain electrocution injuries are:
Electrical current flowing through the body can have serious and lasting effects. The level of damage depends on several factors: the amount or amperage of the current; the path the current takes through the body; and the length of time the body remains a part of the electrical circuit. Other factors are moisture in the environment, the voltage of the current, the general health of the victim and the phase of the victim’s heart cycle when the shock occurs.
OSHA has estimated the possible effects of electrocution on the human body at various levels of current. The most serious injuries are likely to occur at higher levels of current, measured in milliamperes (mA), at:
Electrocution victims often suffer fractures of the spine and long bones and dislocation of joints as a result of falling or being thrown from the electric power source. Ruptured eardrums are another common peripheral injury.
Victims who survive electrocution are often left with severe disfiguring burns that may require repeated surgeries for skin grafting. Internal organs can also be burned and damaged. Electric shock can damage nervous control of the heart and lungs and lead to neuropathy, a painful condition involving the nerve endings in the hands and feet.
Electric shock survivors may experience “post-electric shock syndrome,” a condition involving progressive psychological and cognitive symptoms similar to traumatic brain injury (TBI). Many survivors experience chronic pain after electrocution injuries.
If you have suffered electrocution injuries on a construction job, you may have multiple sources of compensation, depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident:
The personal injury attorneys at Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, are committed to helping construction accident victims on Long Island and throughout the New York metro area. We understand how workers’ compensation, premises liability claims and third-party lawsuits work in connection with construction accidents. We can thoroughly investigate your accident to determine all possible legal remedies and pursue your claim aggressively, seeking maximum compensation.
The importance of having an experienced and knowledgeable construction accident lawyer represent you after serious workplace electrocution injuries cannot be overstated. Call or use our online form to contact our office today for a free case evaluation. Speak face-to-face with an attorney and find out how our firm can help.