Electrocution Hazards on Construction Sites

Construction Workers on scaffold leaning on safety railing

Electricity may power our modern society, but it needs to be handled carefully in order to avoid injury. According to The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), electrocutions were the second leading cause of worker deaths on construction sites in 2014[1].

In order to limit the chance of electrical injuries on construction sites, it’s important to be aware of the risks and hazards involved. Three of the most common hazards construction workers come into contact with are overhead power linesimproperly maintained or used extension cords, and damaged or defective equipment.

Overhead Power Lines

Overhead power lines can be some of the most dangerous hazards on a construction site due to the high voltage they carry. If workers aren’t aware of how high their lifts or ladders will go, there is an increased risk of coming into contact with the power lines, which can lead to electrocution or even cause them to fall from whatever they are currently standing on. The worker doesn’t even need to come in direct contact with the power line to be electrocuted if the lift or ladder they are using is metal, since the charge can pass through their equipment and into them. One of the best ways to avoid contact with overhead power lines is to be aware of exactly how high all lifts and ladders go, as well as the height of the power lines.

Extension Cords

Extension cords are vital pieces of equipment to any construction site and can become worn down if they aren’t maintained or used properly. If left unchecked for long enough, the wires in the cords can become exposed, creating a hazard for workers in the area. Some of the most common ways cords can become worn down include regular wear and tear, window or door edges, staples or other things used to fasten them down, and abrasion from rubbing against other materials. Extension cords need to be inspected constantly to ensure they aren’t becoming an electrocution hazard.

Defective Equipment

Similar to extension cords, equipment needs to be frequently inspected in order to make sure that there are no defects or wiring issues. If you suspect that equipment is damaged or defective, take it out of service immediately in order to inspect it. Coming in contact with defective or damaged equipment puts you at risk of both electrocution as well as electrical burns. These types of burns are especially dangerous because of the damage they can cause to tissue, and require immediate medical attention.

Electrical hazards on construction sites can be avoided with proper safety training and equipment maintenance. If you were injured due to the negligence of someone else, you may be eligible for compensation. The New York City construction accident attorneys at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., have more than 30 years of experience and are prepared to handle your case with the dedication and skill you need. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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[1] https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html

For over 40 years, David H. Perecman has distinguished himself as one of the leading personal injury lawyers in New York City, championing all types of personal injury cases including construction accidents, premises accidents, automobile accidents, and medical malpractice, along with employment discrimination, false arrest, and civil rights cases.