Morristown Electrocution Accident Attorney
Experienced Attorney Serving Clients in New Jersey
You might think that utility workers and people who install power lines are the ones most at risk of an electrocution injury. Actually, electrocution accidents occur among far more often among construction workers than workers whose jobs involve working with high-voltage power every day. Electrical workers likely receive far more training and better protective gear than construction workers, who may only incidentally be working with or near power lines and energy sources. Whatever the reason, electrocution is one of construction’s Fatal Four accidents, as defined by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Over seven percent of construction worker deaths are caused by electrocution, making it the third-leading cause of death on construction sites.
Many different parties may be responsible for various activities on a busy construction site. An electrocution accident may be the fault of the owner, the general contractor, or a subcontractor or independent third-party performing some work at the job site. At the Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff, P.A, our experienced Morristown construction accident attorney helps accident victims and their families recover all available compensation from all available sources. Contact our offices in Morristown, Newton or West New York if you or a loved one has been hurt in an electrocution accident in Morris, Sussex or Hudson County.
Why are Electrocution Accidents so Dangerous?
Electricity is a hidden danger. You can’t see it or smell it, and by the time you feel it, it’s too late to avoid serious harm. It’s the responsibility of job site managers and contractors to identify potential hazards and implement appropriate safety precautions, including putting up warning signs or barricades as necessary. Workers should also be provided with the proper training and protective gear required for working around electricity and obeying safe workplace practices.
The human body is an excellent conductor of electricity. When coming into physical contact with electricity, electrical current will pass through the skin and internal organs as it seeks a path to the ground, causing damage to the heart, muscles, brain or nerves along the way.
How do Electrocution Accidents Happen on Morristown Construction Projects?
Causes of Morristown electrocution accidents include:
- A power source or power cords are overloaded, or extension cords or carelessly placed where they can get wet, run over, cut or tripped over.
- Workers suffer fall injuries after being shocked or electrocuted while working from a height. Even a low-voltage shock can cause a worker to lose their balance and fall or drop tools and equipment onto workers below.
- Equipment is not grounded or equipped with ground-fault protection. Stray electrical current has to go somewhere; the safe place is to the ground, not the worker.
- Contact with power lines. Workers can hit overhead power lines while working on scaffolds or in basket/bucket cranes (cherry pickers). Contact may come to the person directly or when they are standing in or on metal which touches the power line. Workers engaged in trenching and excavation can also suffer electrocution by striking underground power lines.
- Drilling into walls with hidden electrical wires which were not properly identified and marked.
- Contact with exposed wires which were neither insulated nor grounded.
- Operating electrical equipment in the presence of flammable gas, liquids, dust or vapor.
How dangerous are electrocution accidents?
Electrocution is defined as the injury or killing of someone by electric shock. The origin of the word “electrocute” actually comes from “execute”; it was meant to convey being executed by electricity, and electrocution accidents are no joke. Even when they don’t kill, electrocution accidents can cause heart attacks, brain damage, lung failure, deep thermal burns, and permanent heart damage or nerve damage. Getting shocked or experiencing electrical current passing through your body can also be extremely frightening and can cause severe emotional or psychological damage as well as physical injury.
How can worksite managers keep workers safe from electrocution?
One way company managers and contractors can keep workers safe from electrical shock is to make sure that only qualified electricians are allowed to work on energized electrical systems. Appropriate signage and barricades can ensure workers keep ten feet away from high voltage lines. Where construction workers will be working near low voltage systems, electrical wires should be completely insulated and grounded. It’s also important not to operate electrical devices in the presence of flammable gas, where an electrical arc could spark an explosion. Other vapors, liquids and even dust can cause an explosion from electrical equipment as well. Site managers and third parties should also follow OSHA guidance on lockout/tagout procedures for fuse boxes and control panels. Those in charge of maintaining the construction site can and should be held liable for injuries that arise from their failure to implement reasonable and necessary safety protocols.
Get Help After a Morristown Electrocution Accident
When those responsible for installing, maintaining or operating electrical equipment on a construction site fail to do their jobs properly, severe injury or death to a worker can be the result. Morristown construction accident attorney Michael P. Burakoff helps injured construction workers and their families recover much-needed compensation after an electrocution accident. For help after an accident in Morris, Sussex or Hudson County, call the Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff. P.A. at 973-455-1567 for a free consultation. We have offices in Morristown, Newton and West New York, and if you can’t come to us, we’ll come to you.