Electrocution on the jobsite is a real risk, especially for those working on a construction site. Sometimes, the health consequences are dire and might persist for years down the road. If they reach a certain level of severity, the injuries sustained could be fatal. 

Fortunately, there is help available if you’ve been electrocuted while completing on-site projects.

The statistics

It’s vital to recognise the risks of electrocution when working on a construction site. It may help you acknowledge that you aren’t alone, and the accident may have been very legitimate. According to Schwartzapfel Lawyers, a personal injury law firm in New York City: 

  • About 30% of deaths from electrocution take place on a construction site
  • Construction trade workers account 57% of fatal electrical accidents, 31% by electricians, 11% by construction labourers, and 5% roofers and supervisors
  • Direct exposure to electricity injured 42% of those affected while indirect exposure injured 31%

Whether you’ve suffered from muscle, nerve, and tissue damage or thermal burns, the numbers speak for themselves. Electrocution can result in life-altering injuries and debilitating medical costs. Protect your financial and physical well-being by considering the steps below.

Precautions to take to avoid electrocution

You can minimise your risk of getting electrocuted by following a couple of universal safety tips.

Take a training course

Learn the ins and outs of various equipment, so you can make repairs correctly without sustaining life-threatening injuries. Know when to ask for help to avoid overestimating your abilities, which can result in electrocution. 

Know the regulations

A construction worker working on site should be aware of their duties and responsibilities so that they don’t overstep boundaries designed to protect a construction team. To prevent electrocution, power down the overhead and underground lines completely before making electrical repairs.

Inspect everything

Carefully inspect the tools and equipment before operation. Pull in a trained professional to look over the machinery with a trained eye, especially if you suspect damage or malfunction. Check that electrical circuits, power supply systems, and equipment are all grounded. As an additional precaution, ensure everything is functioning correctly before beginning your repair work and routine maintenance.

Get the access equipment right

Always use the right tools for the job, wear the proper safety equipment, and stay 10 feet away from people, tools, vehicles, and other equipment. Failure to wear safety glasses, hard hats, face shields, safety shoes, insulating (rubber) gloves, and flame-resistant (FR) clothing could result in a personal injury lawsuit over on-site electrocution. 

Assess your work

Work in a comfortable position, and don’t push your physical boundaries. If you’re feeling rushed or distracted, you may be at a higher risk of electrocution. Be aware of your surroundings, especially the weather conditions if you work outdoors. Locate the underground power lines.

What to do if you’re electrocuted on a construction site

Here are seven steps you should take if you’re electrocuted on a construction site:

  1. Get medical attention. Consulting a medical expert should be your first step since these accidents can be fatal, even if you’re feeling okay and have no visible signs of injury.
  2. Tell your supervisor about the accident. You need to inform your supervisor within 30 days of the accident and explain how, where, and when the accident occurred. The sooner you do this, the better your memory will be—allowing for the most accurate depiction, which can help prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future.
  3. Report the accident to OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, within eight hours after the accident.
  4. Note witnesses, as they may end up subpoenaed in court.
  5. Get legal help. Workers’ compensation can only do so much. If a victim sustains serious injuries, the accident may require more legal attention.
  6. Report and file a workers’ compensation claim. This report will help you obtain financial relief immediately after the accident occurs.
  7. Appeal denied claims.

Know your legal rights for after the injury

It’s always a good idea to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Knowing and understanding your legal rights before an accident happens makes it much easier to navigate your case. Share the details of the incident with your loved ones if these injuries are fatal.

More than likely, you’re eligible to receive some sort of compensation if injured on-the-job. If the injury is a result of a responsible party’s negligence or if the injury or death was preventable, the chances for repayment are even higher.

The first thing you should do if electrocuted on the job is to seek medical attention. Consulting a medical professional could save your life if your injuries are internal and not visible to the naked eye. 

Once you become stable, you’ll need to reach out to an experienced construction injury lawyer. Your lawyer will tell you your legal rights after injury and guide you through the legal process. Together, you will hold your employer responsible for the accident and fight for compensation and improvements to the current protocol. This step ensures that, if you were to return to the construction company, the working conditions would improve.

An accredited lawyer will help make sure that you receive the financial compensation you deserve, including medical costs coverage, reimbursement for lost wages, and additional expenses resulting from your injuries.

Conclusion

No employee wants to sustain an injury on the job, especially when the aftermath can be stressful and painful. Reach out for help because help exists. With the assistance of legal professionals and healthcare professionals, you quickly recover physically and financially. Without following the steps above, your future might be at risk. Additionally, an accident of this nature could always happen again to you or another vulnerable employee.