According to OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration), exposure to live electrical current is one of the four leading causes of injury and death on construction sites across America every year, accounting for as many as 400 fatalities. The most common types of electrical injuries include:
- Burns — burns caused by electrical current can be more severe and debilitating, because while they often cause trauma to the outer surface of your skin, the electrical current travels through your body and can lead to serious sub-dermal (beneath the skin) injury. It can be difficult to diagnose both the existence and the severity of such burns.
- Electrical shock — An electric shock can damage your central nervous system or interfere with the nerves that control your lungs and your heart. If the current hits your brain, it can cause fairly rapid loss of consciousness.
- Falls caused by exposure to electrical current — In many instances, the shock of touching live electrical current can knock you down. If you are on a ladder or scaffold, or working on an upper level of a construction project, such a fall can cause serious injury or death
Typical Causes of Electrical Exposure Injury on Construction Sites
There are many situations that can put workers at risk of exposure to live electrical current on a job site. If electricians are actively working on a project, and other workers are present and nearby, there’s always a risk that a live wire has not been grounded. Sometimes the exposure to electrical current stems from negligence in properly marking construction zones, or in ensuring that there is adequate lighting in all areas of a construction project.
In addition, many electrocution and electrical shock injuries occur when workers in cranes, buckets or similar devices, or on ladders or scaffolds, fail to properly scan the proximate area for the presence of power lines.
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