What To Do If You’re Electrocuted On A Construction Site

Electricity is a significant danger that construction workers face on the job site when working with “live” wires or failing to tag or lockout circuits. In fact, over 8% of contract workers killed in on-the-job accidents are electrocuted. Electrocution deaths and injuries can have long-standing effects on workers, which include neurological dysfunctions, muscle twitching, or even trouble remembering symptoms.

If you’ve been electrocuted on a construction site, visible injuries are just the surface of the issues and problems you could face down the road. The invisible injuries of electrical shock from downed power lines, poorly functioning mechanical equipment, or frayed extension leads are far more pervasive than burns and initial effects like difficulty breathing.

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WHY ARE ELECTROCUTION CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENTS IN NEW YORK SO COMMON?

Before you learn more about the symptoms you should be aware of, you may be wondering why electrocution construction accidents are so common. In New York City, the numbers around worker injuries and deaths should shine a light on exactly why construction sites are notoriously dangerous:

  • Almost 30% of worker deaths from electrocution occur on a construction site.
  • Construction trade workers account for 57% of fatal electrical accidents, followed by 31% of electricians, 11% of construction laborers, 5% of roofers and supervisors.
  • 42% of injured individuals experienced direct exposure to electricity greater than 220 volts, while 31% were injured because of indirect exposure to high voltages.

OSHA, the regulatory body governing worker health and safety administration, concludes that the inconsistent standards of worker health and safety on construction sites are very much to blame for accidents, injuries, and even fatalities. Electrical safety is (and should be) a priority on construction sites in New York City, and OSHA warns that employers not adhering to their guidelines will be fined in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Together, construction site supervisors and employers can easily prevent electrocution construction accidents when they follow some basic electrical safety tips on-site:

  • Before beginning any work, locate underground power lines (a worker debilitatingly injured as his jackhammer struck an electrical wire, for example, is too common a story).
  • Maintain a 10-foot distance between people, tools, vehicles, and equipment.
  • To be on the safe side, power down overhead and underground lines completely.
  • Power supply systems, electrical circuits, and equipment should be grounded.
  • Check all electrical equipment for potential malfunctions or defects before each use.

FOUR TYPES OF ELECTROCUTION INJURIES YOU MAY FACE

When it comes to electrocution injuries, there are both visible and invisible issues you may face. That’s why electrocution construction accidents in New York City are so deadly. The amount of voltage or shock you face can produce both kinds of injuries, and invisible injuries later on.

While construction accidents like falls can certainly produce both internal and external injuries, electrical shocks are far more deadly because of this one fact: The human body naturally conducts electricity. So, if any part of the body experiences electrical shocks, electricity will flow through the tissue instantly, with little to no obstruction, causing immediate (and potentially significant) damage to organs, tissues, and skin. The length and severity of the shock can result in:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Potential amputation of limbs due to serious burns
  • A weak, erratic pulse, or no pulse at all
  • Burns to internal tissues
  • Difficulties with breathing
  • Sudden cardiac arrest or irregular heartbeat
  • Burns, particularly at the entrance and exit points
  • Later development of associated symptoms like memory loss, cataracts, muscle weakness, difficulty walking and doing everyday tasks, tightness or loss of sensation

If electrocuted on a construction site, there are four common types of injuries a worker could experience.

Flash
Injuries

These injuries are caused instantaneously but superficially. Electrical currents don’t travel past the skin, but they do leave a burn mark.

Flame
Injuries

A flame injury involves a flash injury that comes in contact with an individual’s clothing. In this case, the electrical current may or may not go past the skin.

Lightning
Injuries

When extremely short but high voltage currents attack the body, they flow right through and cause sudden internal damage.

True Electrical
Injuries

In true electrical injuries, a current enters the body, marks the individual, exits the body, and disrupts organs and the heart. An individual interrupts a flowing circuit of energy and becomes a part of (or a conduit for) the electrical current.

When it comes to electrocution injuries, there are both visible and invisible issues you may face. That’s why electrocution construction accidents in New York City are so deadly. The amount of voltage or shock you face can produce both kinds of injuries, and invisible injuries later on.

(1,000 milliamperes = 1 amp; therefore, 15,000 milliamperes = 15 amp circuit)
Current
Reaction
Below 1 milliampere
Generally not perceptible
1 milliampere
Faint tingle
Faint tingle
Slight shock felt; not painful but disturbing. Average individual can let go. Strong involuntary reactions can lead to other injuries.
6-25 milliamperes (women)
Painful shock, loss of muscular control
9-30 milliamperes (men)
The freezing current or “let-go” range. Individual cannot let go, but can be thrown away from the circuit if extensor muscles are stimulated.
50 150 mlliamperes
Extreme pain, respiratory arrest, severe muscular contractions. Death is possible.
1,000 - 4,300 milliamperes
Rhythmic pumping action of the heart ceases. Muscular contraction and nerve damage occur; death likely.
10,000 milliamperes
Cardiac arrest, severe burns; death probable

GETTING FAIR COMPENSATION FOR ELECTROCUTION CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENTS

The most significant factor at play in the experience of electrocution construction accidents is time. It’s not just about reporting the injury in time or getting immediate medical attention.

The effects of electrocution accidents in New York City can resound over a period of months and years. It’s difficult to tell how severely your internal organs may have been affected until, someday, you experience a sudden onset of psychiatric disorders or serious blood and kidney circulation issues. Medical bills and hospitalization issues could be frequent and incessant in the next few years — possibly for the entirety of your life — if you’ve fallen victim to an electrocution construction accident in New York City.

We may not be able to ever alleviate the pain and suffering you’ll experience but our team at Schwartzapfel Lawyers believes we can at least do everything in our power to help you go through the ordeal without added financial stress.

The Schwartzapfel team of attorneys have over 35 years of experience regaining dignity and compensation for their clients through just verdicts and financial settlements. We relentlessly pursue our clients’ lifelong well-being through the recovery of what they’re owed and their benefits.

GETTING FAIR COMPENSATION FOR ELECTROCUTION CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENTS

When you think about how dangerous electrocution accidents truly are, coupled with the fact that a secondary and tertiary issue could arise, unknown, years from now, you’ll understand just how unfair it is to allow individuals, corporations, and government agencies to simply walk away, scot-free. Putting the Schwartzapfel team on your side means more than a fighting chance for you — it means the pursuit of justice.

Contact our team today to learn more about the legal process and your rights if you’ve been electrocuted on a construction site. We’ll explain what your next steps should be, how we can help, and the documentation you should be collecting. You don’t have any time to delay because electrocution accidents hide a much more severe and dangerous internal cost to your body and health. Call or email our team now to get started.

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED ELECTROCUTION ACCIDENT ATTORNEY IN NEW YORK.

The attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. have provided aggressive – yet compassionate – legal guidance for many personal injury clients. With decades of experience, our attorneys are well prepared to handle all your legal needs. Time is of the essence for preserving valuable evidence and maximizing your chances of recovery.

Contact us today at 1-877-737-4806 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation. We will fight for you!

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