Any workplace that poses a risk of burns, including electric currents or open flames, should have a fire emergency plan. This type of plan includes designating which people will play integral roles in evacuation and maintaining a fire, along with a quick and efficient evacuation plan for workers onsite. This is especially important for the construction industry, where a fire plan should be set into place before any demolition job. If you have been burned or lost a loved one due to electrocution, contact our Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyers handling electrocution accidents.
Electrocution Accidents Injuries & Injuries They Cause
Injuries that result from burns and electrocution accidents include:
Neurological injuries, nervous system damage
Injuries, including broken bones, from falls
Electrocutions or shocks
Extension cords are often the culprit in electrical burn injuries. Due to the quick wear and tear that occurs on a construction site, the extension cords often will have exposed wires, leading to injury. It is recommended to purchase extension cords that have the UL and OSHA labels, as these cords are subjected to stricter tests in order to determine if they are safe enough to be sold. Before using any extension cord:
Do not put too many plugs on one cord or electrical socket.
Check all cords for any weathering.
Cords that are weathered, frayed, or have cracks should be replaced as soon as possible.
Exterior extension cords should be used for outdoor electrical devices.
Do not use extension cords for long term purposes and limit the use of temporary solutions.
When unplugging the cord, pull the plug out when disconnecting to avoid damage.
Electrical outlets are another leading cause of electrocution injuries. Most often, electrical shocks are caused by a person trying to feel where the outlet is due to an obstruction. More often, this does not cause serious injury. However, if the person is touching the metal prongs when it is being inserted, it may lead to a severe electrocution injury.
In the same vein, electric appliances can cause electrical shocks and electrocutions. In the workplace and especially on a construction site, there are many electrical devices that are needed in everyday work. Some safety tips for employees with electric devices include:
Avoid using electric devices near water or other liquids.
Do not attempt to fix an electrical device if you are not a licensed professional.
Check devices for worn plugs and cracked wires before use.
Power lines also carry their own risk on a construction site. Placing a ladder or other lift near a power line can significantly heighten the risk of electrocution, as contact with a power line can be fatal. Workers are advised not to place any ladders or other tools on a power line. Workers should also beware of downed wires and power lines, as the wires are live and dangerous until the electricity has been turned off.
Thunderstorms can also pose a danger for construction sites and are common on days with hot and humid weather. This makes summer an important time to keep your eye on the sky. When a storm begins to approach, it is important to find shelter as soon as possible. However, many workers are required to remain outside and continue to work. In those cases, it is critical to have proper safety gear and other measures in place, along with a safety protocol that all workers are well acquainted with.
Around 400 fatal electrocution accidents happen every year at worksites. Additionally, several other nonfatal injuries, such as burns or broken bones, happen as a result of electricity on a construction site, making construction workers the most likely to be injured according to statistics from the National Institute for Occupational Safety.
Even with every precaution in place, burn and electrocution accidents happen. Every construction site should be prepared to handle injuries as they occur, and all workers should go through some level of safety training in order to know the best actions following electrocution. Some basic tips include:
Avoid touching the skin of someone who has been electrocuted.
When someone has been burned, do not peel off dead skin or break blisters that form.
Ice, cotton dressings, ointment, and other first-aid supplies should not be applied to a burn.
Stand further than 20 feet away from someone being electrocuted until the electricity has been turned off to avoid additional people becoming injured.
Try not to move a victim after they have been electrocuted or shocked unless there is an immediate danger.
If the victim still has contact with the source of electricity, do not touch them with bare hands.
When a worker is injured at work due to a burn or an electrocution accident, their recovery may be extensive. If you or a loved one has been injured, contact our team of Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at E.S. Borjeson & Associates to find out how you can receive compensation to aid your recovery. Contact us online or call our offices to schedule a free consultation today.