Workers’ Compensation and Workplace Electrical Accidents
Aggressive Representation for Pennsylvania Workers
Electrical accidents are most common in the construction industry, although they can occur at any job site. Electrical hazards cause more than 4,000 injuries and 300 deaths in United States workplaces each year, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi).
The legal team at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. have represented all types of workers injured in electrical accidents, including:
- Agriculture workers
- Construction workers
- Dock workers
- Forestry workers
OSHA Regulations Regarding Electrical Accidents
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), most electrical accidents occur due to unsafe equipment or installation, unsafe work environment, or unsafe work practices. These types of workplace accidents can be prevented by complying with OSHA standards regarding using safe equipment and circuit protection devices, guarding and grounding, and exercising safe work practices.
Safe Equipment and Circuit Protection Devices
OSHA requires workplace electrical conductors and equipment to be tested by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory. The equipment’s load capacity should not be exceeded, and all electrical work should be performed by a qualified electrician. Circuit protection devices should be implemented in high-risk areas, to limit or stop the flow of dangerous currents.
Guarding and Grounding
Employers should engage in guarding and grounding of all electrical equipment. Enclosing exposed electrical parts and making high voltage equipment accessible only to authorized workers are essential elements of effective guarding practices. Grounding involves creating a low-resistance path to the earth, to prevent workers from built-up voltages or dangerous currents from faulty equipment.
Safe Work Practices
Lockout/tagout is a method of controlling hazardous energies, by disabling machinery or equipment during service or maintenance activities. It is commonly listed as one of OSHA’s top ten most frequently cited standards and is the cause of an estimated 120 deaths and 50,000 injuries annually.
Many electrical accidents can be prevented by performing lockout/tagout procedures, as well as other safe work practices, such as properly maintaining electrical tools and using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Types of Electrical Injuries:
Electrical injuries range in severity and cause workers to miss an average of 13 days of work. Types of electrical injuries include:
- Electrical/arc burns: These types of burns can cause tissue damage, loss of limbs, or death.
- Internal injuries: This type of injury can cause tissue damage, internal bleeding, nerve and muscle damage, irregular heartbeat, or cardiac arrest.
- Involuntary muscle contractions: Electrical shock can cause damage to muscles and ligaments, often causing workers to fall and suffer further injury.
- Scarring/disfigurement: Electrical burns may cause varying degrees of scarring and disfigurement, requiring reconstructive surgery.
- Electrocution: When an electric shock causes death, it constitutes an electrocution, the second leading cause of death on construction sites.
Workers who were injured by a party other than their employer may pursue a third-party claim. Third-party claims are common in the construction industry when contractors negligently install wiring, or employees are injured by defective equipment.
In Pennsylvania, third-party claims for personal injury, premises liability, or product liability may be filed in conjunction with workers’ compensation claims. Injured workers may wish to do so in order to recover additional damages, such as pain and suffering, which are not covered by workers’ compensation.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Represent Workers Injured in Electrical Accidents
If you were injured in an electrical accident at work, contact a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer in Philadelphia at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. We have over 40 years of experience representing injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County,Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania. Call us at 888-PITT-LAW or complete our online contact form for a free consultation.
Our legal team provides skilled representation to those residing in and around Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester and Wynnewood.