Every construction site comes into contact with some electrical work at some point in the course of the project. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has revealed that electrical shock accounts for nine percent of all construction site fatalities per year. The key elements to safe operation of electrical equipment and tasks are proper training in handling electricity. A worker can get easily be injured if they are not trained on the task or if another worker fails to finish their electrical task properly.
Electrocution can occur as a result of a number of construction work errors. The most common problem to arise concerning electricity on a construction site is the lack of proper labeling. Many time, construction companies neglect to ask the utilities installer to label the power lines prior to beginning construction work. This can cause a construction worker to mistakenly come into dangerous contact with an exposed or highly charged wire. Other causes of electrical injuries on a construction site include improper insulation of electrical wires, unmarked underground power lines, electricity left on during work and dangerous contact between construction equipment and electrical lines.
Injuries sustained with electric shock can be extremely painful and damaging. Burn injuries can be extremely severe when contact is made with high voltage power lines. External burns can be extremely deep and severe, even to the point of second degree. Furthermore, when the contact is made, the electrical current can cause internal burns by heating tissue with its power.
The heart can be effected by electric shock as well. The currents pumping blood to the heart have a degree of electrical charge that powers the process. When a foreign force injects excessive charge at once, it can cause ventricular fibrillation, an interference in the contraction of the ventricles of the heart. This condition is also known as a heart arrhythmia, which is an abnormality in the rhythms of the heart. Ventricular fibrillation can lead to more serious conditions including cardiac arrest and sudden cardiac death.
Electrical currents have been known to lead to gradual breakdown of the nervous system, also referred to as peripheral neuropathy. This occurs when the currents interfere with the control of nerves over key organs such as the heart and lungs. The location of neuropathy depends heavily on the path that the current takes when it enters the body. For example, current paths to the head will ultimately affect the nervous systems control over the brain and can lead to swift unconsciousness.
Injuries from electric shock can range from mild to severe. Serious injuries due to construction electrical accidents can be extremely severe, especially if the worker ends up falling because of the shock. Paralysis, heart attack and the development of blood clots can all be included in the aftermath of electrocution. Treatment for electrical burns and injuries is extensive and can be extremely costly.
Construction companies are expected to take necessary measures to protect their employees from unreasonable risk of electrocution as much as possible. Prevention of such injuries can be achieved through the compliance of guidelines for a safe work environment as set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Furthermore, studies unanimously show that proper training positively correlates with reduced injuries overall, especially when handling electricity on site. Not only must the supervisors comply with safety regulations, but the employees should be educated and trained to operate within those standards also so that they protect themselves and their fellow workers from serious injuries.
Construction companies can also reduce the chance of an electrical accident on site by requesting that the utility company label and mark electrical power lines so that the workers are aware of their location. Power cords and lines should be inspected frequently to make sure that there are no exposed wires or flaws that need attention.
It is no secret that construction sites can be the most dangerous work environments even when guidelines are followed. However, when one person or party's negligence leads a worker to sustain injuries, such as electrocution, it can be devastating to the victim's livelihood and finances. Not only do electrical injuries require extensive and expensive medical treatment, recovery can keep a worker from their job for an extended period of time, thereby affecting their income and means of financial support. More serious cases of electrocution can even lead to a permanent inability to work for earnings. Because of all these factors, and others as well, it is important that innocent victims of electrocution seek the help of a personal injury attorney in San Fernando Valley in order to file a claim for compensation.
At The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus, we can provide you with the resources you need to recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries. If your injuries were not your fault, you shouldn't have to pay for them. Find out more about taking legal action for your electrical injuries by contacting a San Fernando Valley injury lawyer from our office today.