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Electrical hazards are among the most prolific dangers on a construction site. Temporary power sources, exposed wires, and exposure to the elements are just a few of the many possible dangers that construction workers face each day.
Even if you do not work directly with electrical systems or electrically-powered equipment, you could face dangers caused by such items. You might accidentally contact something that is carrying an electrical current and suffer electric shock or even electrocution.
Electric shock and electrocution can occur on construction sites. They most often occur whenever construction workers accidentally contact high-voltage power lines. Electrocution is the most lethal and results from direct contact with power lines.
Electric shock occurs when a power line is not grounded properly and sends an electrical current through a worker’s body. Electric shock might not kill a worker, but it could in some scenarios. Instead, it often results in burn injuries that require medical care and time away from work.
An arc or flash caused by electrical equipment or exposed power lines could ignite flammable or explosive gases. Those gases could cause serious workplace injuries or death to construction workers.
A sudden release of electrical energy causes an electric arc or flash that releases electricity into the air. If that air is mixed with flammable gas, the gas could ignite or trigger a catastrophic explosion.
Electrical lines and equipment also could create tripping and falling hazards for workers. When a line or a piece of equipment is exposed or otherwise lying on the ground, a worker might catch a foot on it or step on it and lose balance. The resulting fall could cause a serious injury or even death when working from an elevated position.
When workers fall, they also might drop an electrical tool or another object. The item might cause blunt force trauma or worse if it has moving parts that are sharp or otherwise very dangerous for workers to contact.
It is important to identify high-risk areas that might pose significant risks of accidents and injuries. Dangerous areas should be clearly marked with cones, markings, and safety barriers, and workers should know of the risks.
Worksites should be regularly inspected to ensure workers are safe from exposed wires and other electrical dangers. Workers should know the correct lockout/tagout procedures and practice them regularly to help shut down electrical current when done working or if a dangerous condition might exist.
Workers should have good safety equipment, including face shields, helmets, and gloves that help protect against electrical shocks and other worksite hazards. Qualified electricians should be on the jobsite to properly maintain and repair any faulty electrical lines or systems.
If you have a workplace electrical injury and need help with your claim, speak with one of our Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. You can call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We are located in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.