It is calculated that, in every 8-hour shift, 16 construction workers are injured by electrical shock severely enough to require time off from work.
Electricity is unlike other worksite dangers. You cannot see it, hear it, or smell it. It can only be felt, and by then, there is not much you can do to protect yourself.
Electric current travels in a predictable way, either finding a path to ground or to another conductor. If a worker is in the path of the current flow, he or she becomes part of the path. Electricity then flows through their body, and almost any outcome is possible.
A Full Range of Injuries
Electric shocks may result in no injury at all, or they can wreak terrible damage to the body, even resulting in death.
Shock injuries range from minor burns and pain in the limbs to heart injuries and fatalities. Burns are the most common of these injuries. Low-voltage shocks can cause numbness, weakness, confusion, and generalized fatigue or weakness in places.
Symptoms may not appear right away but can develop in the days or weeks following the shock.
Causes of Injuries
Causes of injuries range from bad set-ups to poor work habits to insufficient information.
Shock injuries occur in these general situations:
- When electric current takes an unplanned pathway to ground. Low-impedance ground faults are often caused by worn or stripped When they are not foreseen and addressed, they trigger destructive arc flashes.
- When a worker is in contact with both wires of an electric circuit. The worker becomes part of the pathway and is injured.
- When one wire of an energized circuit connects to ground and metal parts are energized. This is usually the result of bad bonding, failure to connect equipment and wiring systems to ground, allowing current to flow through. Bad bonding can cause fires, destruction of machinery, and loss of data.
Prevention Beats Protection
It sometimes happens that a worker becomes the pathway of high-voltage current. It is very important that you know what you are doing before coming to your coworker’s rescue. You do not want to become part of the same current pathway.
All too many injuries occur when a worker has been told the power has been shut off, yet it is still on. Shut down high voltage lines when possible, and make certain that low-voltage systems are properly insulated and grounded.
Planning, communication, double-checking, and other thoughtful preventive efforts save more lives than protective devices can.
Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Electrocuted Construction Workers
The Philadelphia construction accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC have the experience and the ability to seek maximum compensation for you. Our lawyers are sensitive to the trauma caused by electric shock injuries.
We understand the importance of obtaining compensation to pay your medical bills and compensate you for lost wages. We also pursue vigorous wrongful death suits for loved ones killed on the job by electrical current.
Call 215-569-8488 or contact us online for a consultation. We serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia, as well as Delaware and New Jersey.