Electrical Accidents & Injuries on Construction Sites
Our Mississippi Construction Accident Attorneys Discuss the Dangers Workers Face While on the Job
Workers are hurt in construction accidents every year in Mississippi. There are many hazards on a construction site. An accident can happen in seconds that leave workers seriously injured. They often need extensive medical treatment and can be left temporarily – or permanently – unable to work.
One of the most dangerous hazards construction workers deal with daily is electricity. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), common causes of electrical injuries include:
Contact with power lines
Overhead and buried power lines carry high voltage and can be extremely dangerous. Tools and equipment used by workers can come into direct contact with these power lines, creating a safety hazard. Examples include aluminum paint rollers, backhoes, metal ladders, dump truck beds, concrete pumpers, and scaffolds.
Contact with one of these lines can lead to electrocution, burns, or falls. But there are steps that can be taken to prevent these accidents. These steps include contacting utilities for the location of any buried power lines near a worksite, staying at least 10 feet away from power lines, and using non-conductive ladders.
Lack of ground-fault protection
Electrical equipment gets a lot of use on construction sites. Over time, this can lead to wear and tear – such as breaks in the insulation, exposed wires, and short-circuits. A ground-fault can send electricity through a worker’s body. There may be an explosion or fire. Workers can suffer electrocution or burns.
These accidents can be prevented by using ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) or having an assured equipment grounding conductor program (AEGCP), using double-insulated tools and equipment, and visually inspecting all electrical equipment before use.
Path to ground missing or discontinuous
Fault current can go through a worker’s body if the power supply for electrical equipment is not grounded or the path of current has been broken. This can lead to electrocution or serious burns. Extreme conditions and rough treatment can also cause equipment to become dangerous even if the power system is grounded properly.
It’s important to properly ground circuits, equipment, and power supply systems. All electrical equipment should be inspected before use and defective equipment should be taken out of service. In addition, the ground prongs on electrical or extension cords should never be removed.
Equipment not used in manner prescribed
Electrical equipment is designed for specific purposes and to be used in certain ways. When it is used in ways for which it is not designed, an accident can happen and workers can be hurt. For example, multi-receptacle boxes that are supposed to be mounted should not be used on the floor. Equipment designed to be used indoors should not be used outdoors. Three-prong cords and tools should not be used with ungrounded, two-prong adapter plugs.
All electrical equipment used should meet OSHA standards and be operated following the manufacturer’s instructions. Cords should never be modified or used incorrectly, and equipment should not be fabricated or altered.
Improper use of extension and flexible cords
These cords can wear down over time and with repeated use. Eventually, wires can be exposed and put workers at risk of contact with electrical current. Using the wrong type of cords can also be dangerous.
Extension cords should be the 3-wire type designated for hard or extra-hard usage. Only use connection devices, cords, and fittings equipped with strain relief. When removing cords from receptacles, pull on the plug. All cords should be continually audited and any modified or improper cords taken out of service.
Tabor Law Firm fights for injured construction workers
When workers are injured, they deserve workers’ compensation benefits to pay their medical bills and provide them with partial wages. But employers and their insurance carriers want to pay as little as possible, and many claims for benefits are denied. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side to guide you through the process and protect your rights.
At Tabor Law Firm, P.A., we fight for injured construction workers. Our lawyers know the law and the workers’ compensation system here. We build strong cases and provide aggressive representation at all hearings and court proceedings.
We represent workers in Ridgeland, the greater Jackson area, and throughout Mississippi. If you’ve been hurt in a workplace accident, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.