According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction workers experience the highest rate of on-the-job electrical injuries. The CDC noted that construction workers risk about a four times greater chance of electrocution compared to other job fields.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration performs thousands of on-site inspections each year. Frequent OSHA construction site safety violations include finding issues involving electrical wiring methods. Inadequate high-voltage lockout and tagout practices also show up often. Overall, electrical violations rank in the top ten safety issues discovered in OSHA inspections.
Some steps an employer may take to prevent electrical accidents
Employers owe a duty of care to protect their workers from harm on their premises or at job sites. Regular inspection and maintenance of high-voltage equipment can help employees avoid on-the-job accidents.
Warning signs can alert employees to exercise a greater degree of caution or keep away from a dangerous electrical circuit. Training employees in safety measures can help to reduce electrical accidents. Personal protective equipment, such as electrical gloves, can also help prevent workplace injuries.
Signs an employer may have failed in a duty of care
As noted by the GroundBreak Carolinas website, devices such as voltage breakers and surge protectors can serve to shut down dangerous electrical power during an emergency. An employer failing to install protective devices or provide electrical PPE may have breached a duty of care to keep workers safe from harm.
An on-the-job electrical accident could result in a catastrophic injury or long-term disability. Employees injured at work may file a claim for workers’ compensation. After qualifying for benefits, an injured worker may receive medical care, rehabilitation and recovery-time benefits.