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The Danger of Electrical Injuries on Atlanta Construction Sites

By Butler Prather LLP on November 15, 2022

Did you know that electrocution is one of the leading causes of death in the construction industry, and that the construction industry itself leads the way when it comes to workplace deaths each year in the country? The very nature of the construction industry means that workers will be in proximity to exposed outlets and electrical wires. However, there are steps that can be taken to prevent these types of injuries. Here, we want to discuss the danger of electrical injuries on Atlanta construction sites.

The Danger of Electrical Injuries on Atlanta Construction Sites

Electrocutions are in the “Fatal Four”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has labeled electrocution as one of the “Fatal Four,” that is, as one of the leading causes of death in the construction industry. Filling out the list includes falls, being caught in between objects, and being struck by objects.

Data shows that electrocution injuries at construction sites affect not just electricians working at the site. Other types of construction workers can also sustain electrocution injuries, including roofers, heating and AC technicians, laborers, plumbers, painters, carpenters, and more.

Data indicates that more than half of the electrocutions during a study time frame were caused by direct or indirect contact with electrical wiring and electrical equipment. This includes contact with circuit breakers, control boxes, transformers, light fixtures, junction boxes, etc. 

The CDC page referenced above says that many of the violations recorded revolved around the use of temporary power during renovation or construction. They also say that many of the construction workers who experienced fatal electrical injuries were not properly trained to handle electrical equipment.

Preventing Electrocutions at Construction Sites

Electrocutions at construction sites are preventable, but it requires the cooperation of every person at a construction site. This includes site supervisors, general laborers, electricians, and any contractor working at the location.

  • There should be an overall culture of safety from the top down that includes every single person at the construction site.
  • Any person entering a construction site for the first time should undergo a thorough briefing that reviews the risks of electrocution hazards.
  • Construction site supervisors must share electrical safety materials in a worker’s native language.
  • Every employee and contractor needs to know the location of exposed electrical wires, overhead wires, and underground power lines.
  • All electrical equipment should be either grounded or double-insulated.
  • Any metal object needs to remain away from electrical circuits or electrical parts.
  • Workers must disconnect all plugs before replacing or repairing power tools or machinery.

Recovering Compensation After an Electrocution Injury

Recovering compensation after a construction site electrocution can be challenging. If the injured worker was a direct employee of a construction company, they may be able to recover workers’ compensation insurance in Atlanta to pay for medical bills and some of the lost wages.

However, if a construction worker sustains an electrocution injury caused by the negligent actions of a third party aside from their employer, they may be able to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the alleged negligent party. A third-party lawsuit is more challenging because the injury victim will need to prove fault, but this could end up with the victim recovering additional types of compensation above what they would otherwise receive.

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