From a very young age, everyone is taught to steer clear from electrical outlets and exposure to electricity. This is because of the great power, and the great danger, that electricity harnesses. Unfortunately, on construction sites, electricity is a constant companion to workers and unless the wires and surges are marked correctly, an accident can quickly lead to serious electric injuries.
Electric shock occurs when any part of the human body comes into contact with a source of electricity that sends a strong enough current through the body. Small currents are hardly noticeable and may occur on a daily basis, but if the current is strong enough and exposure is long enough, it can cause serious injuries and even death.
On construction sites, it is not unusual to see wires and electric boxes all over the area. Electricity is not only used to power much of the machinery and tools on the site but is also often incorporated into the construction or repair of the project. These facts mean that construction workers will invariably be surrounded by and also handle a variety of electric wires and materials. Studies have shown that the greatest cause of electric accidents on a construction sites is due to insufficient worker training as it pertains to the handling of wires and equipment.
Another main cause of accidents involving electricity is the lack of clear or accurate labeling. With the wide array of different wires and cables around the site, it is easy for a worker to unknowingly come into contact with a dangerous amount of electricity. Since contractors usually bring in an outside company to handle the electricity on the site, it is their responsibility to clearly mark dangerous wires and electricity boxes. Supervisors can increase security in this area by explicitly requesting that the utility company mark the wires in a way that workers will recognize and understand.
The high risk of danger as it pertains to electricity on construction sites stems from the fact that most of the electricity on the work site is at a very high voltage. This means that even a small amount of exposure can cause great injuries. Electric shock tends to cause burn injuries much like thermal heat, varying by degree based on how deep the burn goes. A current can also cause permanent damage to the brain and nervous system called neuropathy, causing a dysfunction in nerve control. Lastly, a strong enough current that reaches the heart can cause enough shock to stop the muscle from moving altogether. Death by electric shock is referred to as electrocution, although the term is used when speaking of all types of serious electric injuries.
If you or a loved one sustained electric shock injuries while working on or visiting a construction site, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation. Accidents occur because of negligence on the part of supervisors, coworkers and outside utility companies but that does not mean that you should have to pay for the damage by yourself. Contact our Santa Clarita construction accident lawyer to learn more about how we can help you claim the compensation you deserve.