Electrocution Injury Lawyers in Austin
Construction sites tend to be high-voltage environments. Electricity is necessary to operate machinery and light dark spaces in which work—such as the installation of outlets, light fixtures and wiring—is being done. Although electricity is an essential part of any construction site’s operations, it can be injurious or deadly if it is not properly harnessed or used. As such, a construction site’s electrical power sources should be the subject of careful maintenance and inspection. Both are essential pieces of the puzzle for construction site safety.
Because electricity is such a vital part of a construction site’s operations, there is no shortage of opportunities for an electricity-related accident such as a shock or more severe electrocution to occur. Some electricity-related incidents may only cause a short-lived shock. Electrocutions are much more serious. An electrocution occurs when an individual is exposed to harmful amounts of electrical current suddenly and without warning. This electrical current can cause injuries to organs, burns, respiratory distress, cardiac arrest and many other traumatic injuries (e.g., broken bones when the electrocution causes a construction worker to fall from scaffolding or a ladder).
The most common causes of electrocution according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are contact with power lines, improper use of extension and flexible cords, lack of ground-fault protection, workers’ failure to follow manufacturers’ instructions and improper grounding of electrical equipment. The severity of an electrocution injury varies depending upon a number of factors. These factors include the duration of the person’s exposure to the electrical current, the presence of moisture in the work environment (even sweat can serve as a conductor), the amount of current that flows through the body, the path the current takes through the individual’s body, the phase of the heart cycle when the electrocution occurs, the current’s voltage and the individual’s overall level of health and well-being at the time of the electrocution.
In general, the more electricity a person is exposed to, the more damage it will inflict on the body. This damage can range from spasms that are barely noticeable to full-on paralysis. An individual who survives an electrocution may never recover his or her pre-accident quality of life. The residual long-term effects of such an accident can include body disfigurement from burns; brain injuries; speaking, hearing or vision defects; permanent organ damage; heart problems and nerve damage. OSHA has developed federal restrictions to which construction site supervisors and managers must adhere in an attempt to protect workers from potentially dangerous electrocution injuries. Failure to meet these standards can have severe consequences for those responsible.
If you or a loved one suffered a construction site electrocution injury due to another party’s negligence, you could be entitled to recover damages that will compensate you for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of productivity and loss of consortium. Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney to learn more.