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Important Legal and Factual Issues in Connection with Construction Site Electrocutions in a Personal Injury Case

Construction site fatalities unfortunately occur every year.  The leading causes of deaths are the following:

  • falls;
  • electrocutions;
  • being struck by an object; and
  • being caught-in or caught-between hazards.

These 4 causes are known as construction's "Fatal Four."  Electrocution is the second leading cause of death in construction accidents. 

An electrocution occurs when the construction worker is exposed to a lethal amount of electrical energy.  Serious injuries occur from electrocutions, such as severe burns, shocks, and catastrophic orthopedic injuries from falls after electrocution.

Various factors cause an electrocution accident:

  • coming into contact with live wires;
  • improperly insulating live wires; or
  • using improperly grounded equipment or tools.

One of the most common causes of electrocution is coming into contact with live power lines, which carry extremely high voltage.  Construction workers and crew working close to the wires are exposed to the hazard of electrocution. 

Here are some examples: a worker on a scaffold or a ladder near a power line is exposed to risks of electrocution;  a construction worker in a man basket near a power line is exposed to risks of electrocution; and even a worker moving an aluminum ladder that is close to a wire is exposed to risks of electrocution.

There are some safety procedures workers at a construction site can follow and keep in mind to reduce risks of electrocution.  Workers should maintain a safe distance from overhead power lines.  OSHA 29 CFR 1926.1408(h) provides minimum clearing distances from live wires depending on the wire's voltage.

Other safety recommendations for workers working around power lines include:

  • placing coverings on an overhead power line;
  • making sure the power lines are visibly grounded or have insulated sleeves or covers;
  • using tools and equipment that are nonconductive.

There are many OSHA safety guidelines that must be in place at a construction site, which minimize the risk of electrocutions.  If you or a loved one was electrocuted and injured at a construction site and would like to know your legal options, contact our experienced Philadelphia, PA & NJ construction accident lawyers for a free consultation. 877.944.8396



**DISCLAIMER: This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case.




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