Electrocution Construction Accidents in New York, NY
Electricity is essential to our daily lives, but it can also be lethal. According to the U.S. Occupational and Safety Administration, approximately 350 construction workers are fatally electrocuted on job sites each year. People do survive electrocution accidents, but they may not escape without serious injuries with lasting electrocution symptoms.
Most, if not all, construction sites are high-voltage environments. Workers need power to operate machinery, lighting to work in dark spaces and are responsible for installing outlets, wiring and light fixtures. There is no shortage of other tasks that require electrical work, which means there are also many opportunities for electricity-related accidents, including electric shock and electrocution accidents. Proper maintenance and inspection of construction sites are essential to avoid deaths and life-threatening injuries.
Electric Shock on the Job? Call Our Construction Accident Attorneys Today
If you or a loved one suffered an electrocution injury on a construction site and someone other than the employer was to blame, you could be entitled to receive damages if the third party falls outside of the workers’ compensation system. The Manhattan, NY, construction injury lawyers at David Resnick & Associates are skilled at evaluating construction accident claims and can help you determine whether the negligence of a third party caused or contributed to your injuries. We also can help if you were a non-employee who was injured while visiting a construction site.
We serve construction accident victims in the Manhattan and all of New York City, including Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn and Long Island.
How Electrocution Accidents Happen in Construction Zones
Electrical accidents and electrical shocks are never welcome, but they’re not always deadly. Some electrical accidents result in symptoms that are barely noticeable to the worker or may cause a slight, momentary shock.
Electrocutions are different. A person who suffers an electrocution accident is suddenly and unexpectedly exposed to dangerous amounts of electrical current that can cause burns, cardiac arrest, brain injuries, respiratory distress and other organ injuries. However, it’s not just the electrical trauma that can cause injuries. For example, construction workers may also sustain broken bones and other injuries when the electric shock results in falls from ladders or scaffolding.
According to OSHA, the most common causes of electrocutions on construction sites are:
- Contact with power lines;
- Lack of ground-fault protection;
- Improper grounding of electrical equipment;
- Failure to follow manufacturers’ instructions;
- Improper use of extension and flexible cords.
The severity of the injury suffered by a construction worker involved in an electrical accident is dependent on several factors:
- How long the person is exposed to the electrical current;
- The amount of current that flows through the body;
- The path of the current through the body;
- The presence of moisture in the environment (even sweat on the worker’s skin can be a conductor);
- The voltage of the current;
- The phase of the heart cycle when the shock occurs;
- The general health of the individual.
How Much Electricity Does It Take To Hurt Me?
Generally speaking, the higher the level of current a person is exposed to, the greater the damage inflicted upon the body. Electrocutions cause muscle contractions that range from minimal to paralyzing.
Electrical current is measured in units referred to as milliamperes (mA). According to OSHA, a construction worker exposed to 1 mA of electrical current might feel only a tingling sensation. Anywhere from 6 (mA) to 16 (mA) is referred to the “let go” zone, when a person still has the ability to remove himself or herself from the source of the electricity. Beyond 17 (mA), the victim will be unable to let go, and damage to the respiratory system and other internal organs is likely to begin. Beyond that point, death is possible.
Construction workers who survive electrocution may never be able to resume the same quality of life they had before the accident. Long-term physical conditions may remain, such as:
- Brain injuries;
- Nerve damage;
- Heart problems;
- Permanent organ damage;
- Vision, hearing or speaking deficits;
- Bodily disfigurement from burns.
OSHA has developed federal standards that construction site managers and supervisors are required to maintain to protect their workers from deadly electrical accidents. If they fail to heed those laws, the consequences can be detrimental.
Compensation for Your Manhattan Construction Site Injury
If you survived an electrocution injury in a New York construction accident due to another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover damages that can help cover your medical bills, lost wages, loss productivity and pain and suffering. Call the Manhattan, New York, construction accident attorneys at David Resnick & Associates at 877-815-6053 or use our online contact form for a free consultation.