2 ways that electricity can lead to injury on construction sites

On Behalf of | May 1, 2023 | Construction Site Accidents

Construction is a well-paid profession, but it is also a career that comes with a significant degree of personal risk. Construction professionals often have to worry about working at an elevation or below grade where a cave-in could occur. They handle heavy equipment and dangerous tools, all while being exposed to the elements, in many cases.

According to workplace injury and fatalities statistics, electricity is one of the biggest safety concerns on a construction site. How does electricity put construction workers at risk?

1. Electrical injury and burns

The first and most obvious way that electricity endangers workers is through the possibility of electrocution. Insufficient grounding, frayed wires and other workplace safety issues might lead to someone getting shocked and ending up severely injured. Electrocution can prove fatal, and it can also cause severe burns, heart damage and numerous other secondary symptoms. Anyone who directly experiences a high-voltage electrical shock at a construction site could end up hospitalized or worse as a result.

2. Falling objects and falls from heights

Not all electrical shocks are severe enough to kill someone or leave them in need of medical treatment. However, even minor electrical shocks can lead to a temporary loss of motor function. Someone shocked at an elevation might black out or lose their grip and end up falling from a significant height. Additionally, someone working with a tool that shorts out could drop that tool or other supplies and end up hurting workers below them. Falls and falling objects can lead to brain injuries, broken bones and fatalities on construction sites. Companies are well aware of how dangerous electricity is and should take whatever steps are necessary to protect people from electrical exposure and the injuries that could result.

Most electrical injury cases lead to a workers’ compensation claim. Benefits can cover someone’s medical costs and help replace some of their lost wages. In cases involving defective tools or equipment causing an electrical injury, a claim against the manufacturer can sometimes complement what workers’ compensation provides. Knowing and avoiding common causes of construction injuries can keep professionals a bit safer on the job and may help them take thoughtful, productive action if they do get hurt on the job.