Electrocution is the fourth leading cause of accidental injury in workplaces across the United States. This type of injury is especially prevalent in the construction industry, but they can potentially happen anywhere that workers use electrical equipment. But why are there so many electrocutions in the workplace in the first place? Here are five of the biggest contributors to workplace electrocutions:
- Failure to provide protective equipment
- One of the most common contributors to workplace electrocutions is their failure to provide protective equipment, especially insulated gloves. This equipment is considered mandatory in any workplace where workers are likely to come into contact with exposed wiring or electrical equipment, such as a construction site. When employers fail to provide workers with this protection, they place them at an increased risk of harm.
- Not identifying the location of power lines
- Before construction workers begin work on a site, they are supposed to check to determine the location of potential infrastructure that they should not cut into. This may include water pipes, gas mains, and, of course, buried power lines, which often carry a strong electrical current. When construction begins without checking to see where power lines are located, it increases the chance of accidental electrocution.
- Circumventing lockout/tagout systems
- Most electrical equipment used in construction and other workplaces have so-called lockout or tagout systems. These systems are intended to prevent people from coming into contact with them while they are in use. When people circumvent these systems, it increases the risk that someone will make contact with an energized circuit, making electrocutions more likely.
- Faulty or overloaded wiring
- Another common issue seen in workplace electrocutions is when a workplace has faulty wiring, or when it does not have an electrical system adequate to their power needs. In either case, the strain on the wiring can result in short circuiting, or it can overload the electrical system completely. When this happens, it can electrocute anyone who happens to be in contact with the electrical system at the time, and it can even result in an electrical fire.
- Reliance on temporary wiring
- It is reasonably common for construction workers and electricians to use temporary wiring while installing electrical components. This temporary wiring is not meant to be used for long, and is intended to be replaced with permanent wiring later on. Unfortunately, some people will never replace this temporary wiring, which subsequently can degrade and cause electrocutions.
If you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you should seek out the workplace injury lawyers at Zlotolow & Associates. Our seasoned New York personal injury attorneys bring more than two decades of trial experience to your case. We serve all five boroughs of New York City, as well as Nassau and Suffolk County. Our aggressive personal injury attorneys always demand maximum compensation. We have helped thousands of clients recover through settlements and courtroom verdicts.