Construction sites involve numerous hazards. One of the most significant dangers is the risk of electrical injuries. Typically, construction injuries are covered by workers’ compensation—but in some cases, workers may be able to file a third-party personal injury suit.
Common causes of electrical injuries and fatalities
Direct or indirect contact with live electrical equipment and wiring is a major cause of electrical fatalities. Such contact can result from various factors, including failure to properly de-energize equipment, inadequate planning during construction and renovation, and improper use of extension cords. Additionally, contact with overhead or underground power lines poses a significant risk, often arising from a failure to maintain safe distances or de-energize the lines.
Construction workers are approximately four times more likely to be electrocuted than workers in other industries combined. Electrocutions are one of the "Focus Four Hazards" identified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for the construction sector.
Power-line installers, electricians, roofers, HVAC mechanics and laborers all have elevated rates of electrocution. For instance, power-line installers faced an alarming rate of 29.7 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers, significantly surpassing the average rate for all construction occupations.
Construction work and third-party lawsuits
Workers' compensation typically covers on-the-job injuries and fatalities. It’s designed to ensure that workers receive necessary medical treatment and wage replacement without having to prove that their employer was at fault for the injury.
However, in some cases, construction site injuries occur due to the negligence or wrongdoing of someone other than the injured worker's employer or co-workers. These third parties could include equipment manufacturers, subcontractors, property owners or other entities that are not directly connected to the injured worker's employer. When a third party's negligence contributes to an on-the-job electrical injury, the injured worker or their surviving family may have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit—and receive additional compensation as a result.
If you’ve been injured in a construction accident and believe a third party may be at fault, contact a trusted Bradenton, FL accident attorney at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh for help.