From 2012 to 2016, 8 percent of contract worker deaths throughout the nation were caused by electrocution. Of those workers, 68 percent of them were in the construction industry. These figures were gleaned from an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Construction trade workers were victims in 57 percent of fatal accidents caused by an electrical event.
These fatalities were caused by both direct and indirect contact with more than 220 volts of electricity. Specifically, 42 percent of those deaths were caused by direct contact while 37 percent were caused by indirect contact. According to the NFPA, companies that use contract workers may not train them as well as employees on the company’s payroll. The NFPA suggests that contract workers take additional steps to remain safe on the job.
OSHA has provided several tips that can keep both employees and contract workers safe. For example, people and equipment should be kept at least 10 feet away from power lines. Furthermore, electrical equipment that a worker might use on the job should be checked to ensure that it functions properly. Prior to beginning a job, employers and workers should know where any underground power lines are located. Failure to follow safety regulations could result in OSHA citations and fines.
Those who are hurt in a workplace accident may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This is generally true regardless of how the accident happened, and it may allow a worker to obtain a percentage of wages lost during the recovery period as well as have medical bills paid for. An attorney who has experience with these types of matters can often assist with the preparation and filing of the required claim documentation.