It is no secret the construction industry is dangerous, reporting the most injuries and fatalities across American industries. Electrocutions or electrical hazards is considered one of the ‘Fatal Four’ – a hazard that contributes to sixty-percent of construction workplace fatalities each year.
Electrical injuries are very common for workers in America with approximately 160-180 fatal electrical injuries reported every year according to the Illinois Center for Injury Prevention. Half of these electricians occurred in the construction industry.
Construction workers are not the only ones exposed to potential electric injuries. Anyone who works on electrical tasks is at risk. These accidents are often common in factory settings and those working closely with public utilities. CTA employees are also exposed to a substantial risk given the dangerous third rail utilized by CTA trains which provides electric power to keep trains moving.
Electrocution injuries can occur in a variety of ways and depending on the severity of the shock, injuries can range from minor to fatal. These injuries are unlike others that occur on the job because the effects of these injuries manifest in unpredictable ways and can remain for years.
Following a high voltage electrical shock, both the outside of the body and the inside can be significantly damaged. A shock victim can suffer severe burns at the point of contact. The force of the shock can cause the victim to be thrown from his/her position resulting in broken bones, paralysis, or internal injuries. A shock can also cause significant injuries to the heart resulting in a heart attack and/or damage to the brain causing seizures.
Electrical injury victims can face long term muscle pain and discomfort, fatigue, and issues with nerve conduction and sensation. Victims often also suffer from life-long neurological issues like difficulty processing, inability to pay attention or concentrate, and issues with memory.
If you sustain an injury that is related directly to your employment, you may make a claim for compensation against your employer’s workers’ compensation policy without having to prove or show that the accident was a result of negligence, malfeasance, or fault of any kind. Workers’ compensation applies even if the injury is caused or partly caused through your own fault.
If you become injured in the course of your employment, you should always report the accident, injury, or condition as soon as possible to your employer. This is important even if an injury seems minor as injuries that appear minor at the outset may occasionally have long-lasting or debilitating effects. This is especially true with electrical injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an electrocution accident, it may be beneficial to talk with an experienced personal injury attorney to understand your rights. Call Abels & Annes, P.C. today at (312) 924-7575 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Prior Blog Entry:
Illinois Nursing Homes May Be Blamed when Bedsores Occur, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published February 15, 2017.
Commonly Used Statistics, Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Electrical Injuries in the Workplace, Illinois Center for Injury Prevention, June 2013.
Electrical Shock, www.webmd.com.