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PC Identifying Potential Electrical Hazards at Your Worksite

Attorney Mark Rufo PC

New Hampshire construction site injuries may need a quick trip to the ER or require years of care due to debilitating physical damage. Scaffolding, large equipment or machinery and the potential for falling objects are among the most common hazards. However, electricity can be just as lethal and not as obvious.

People that work directly with electricity have the highest risk of injury. This includes electricians and power line installers. Other workers, such as plumbers, carpenters, masons, and construction laborers, may unexpectedly come into contact with electrical hazards. The CDC reports that, on an annual basis, electrocution on construction projects is comparable to all other industries combined.

Hazard identification

Wiring, electrical equipment and power sources are the most noticeable hazards but not the only concerns. Buried power lines should have indicators so that you can avoid the area. They carry the same high-voltage and electrocution risks as overhead lines. If you discover a buried line, assume that it’s live. For your safety, de-energize and ground it before completing tasks nearby.

If you use electrical equipment as part of your job, check it daily. Look for exposed wires, breaks in insulation and short-circuits. Double insulated tools and ground-fault circuit interrupters can minimize the potential for injury.

Injury types

Electrical shocks occur when an electric current passes through your body. It can burn internal and external tissue as well as cause organ damage. In some cases, the jolt may cause involuntary muscle contraction. If you suffer electrical shock while working on an elevated surface, you may fall, causing severe damage in addition to burns. Extreme tissue damage may result in limb amputation, and infection becomes a threat if the burns cover more than 40% of your body.

Catastrophic burn injuries can result in scarring and disfigurement. Recovery often includes reconstructive surgery, rehabilitation and long-term. Understanding the cause of the accident may help determine if the result of negligence. An investigation might identify the responsible party.