When you make your living working on a construction site in New York, you may face electrical hazards on a day-to-day basis. You might, too, have firsthand knowledge of how painful and life-altering electrical injuries often are. Your employer has a duty to make your work environment as safe as possible. Part of this commitment involves following all safety protocols dictated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Per Construction Executive, some employers shirk these duties and responsibilities because they prioritize efficiency, resulting in workers suffering electrical injuries. Other times, employers fail to give their workers proper training with regard to electrical hazards and what steps to take to help avoid electrical injuries.
Prevalence of electrical injuries
As a construction worker, your chance of suffering an on-the-job electrical injury is higher than that of those employed in most other industries. In 2016, construction workers suffered more than half, or 53%, of all fatal electrical injuries experienced across the nation. Electrocution was the primary cause of death involving electricity. Burns were the most common injury to result from shocks.
Types of electrical injuries
A common electrical injury in construction, electrocution might occur if you have unintended contact with power lines or other high-voltage equipment. You also risk a severe chemical or another type of burn if certain explosive gases ignite close enough to you. Some electrical injuries also result from construction workers experiencing low-voltage shocks. They may then either lose their balance or lose control over the machinery or tools they are operating.
Electrocution and other electrical injuries may cause numbness, tingling, and muscle and other pain, among other possible effects. It may also cause harm to internal organs.