Electrical Accidents in Delaware

Workers across many industries are exposed to the serious workplace hazard of electrical currents. Engineers and electricians must work with electricity directly when assembling circuits, cable harnesses, and installing and repairing overhead lines. Other workers such as those in construction, are in and around exposed electrical wiring as part of their daily job. Painters, carpenters, roofers, and utility workers are all at higher risk for electrical accidents. Unfortunately, these accidents with their resulting injuries and fatalities are all too common.

Electrical Accident Injuries

There are four types of injuries associated with electrical accidents:

  • Burns
  • Electric shock
  • Falls from coming into contact with electrical energy
  • Electrocution (fatal)

Burns from electricity can cause extensive damage and take longer to heal than thermal burns. This is because the underlying tissues are harmed in addition to the skin where contact was made with the electrical source. Workers can experience serious injuries such as traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injuries from falls after contact with an energized source. Thermal burns are also possible if the electrical accident causes a fire or explosion.

Common Causes of Electrical Accidents

According to OSHAconstruction accidents accounted for more than 50 percent of fatal electrical accidents in the last decade. Most electrical accidents can be attributed to one of three factors: unsafe equipment or installation, unsafe environment, or unsafe work practices.

Unsafe equipment or installation includes:

  • Extension cords that are frayed or damaged
  • Defective equipment including tools, ladders or other materials that conduct electricity
  • Improperly maintained electrical tools
  • Installation of equipment too close to overhead or buried power lines

Examples of an unsafe environment are:

  • Lack of a proper grounding system
  • Lack of guarding on the live components of electrical equipment
  • Lack of circuit protection devices
  • Inadequate markings of safe vs. unsafe zones

Unsafe work practices include:

  • Lack of lockout/tagout procedures (the leading cause of unsafe work practices)
  • Inadequate training
  • Failure to use proper isolation equipment
  • Failure to properly maintain electrical tools
  • Failure to use personal protective equipment

Employers have a responsibility to ensure that their workplace meets OSHA regulations, employs best practices for safety, and provides the training and personal protective equipment workers need to stay safe.

Workers’ Compensation for Electrical Accidents

If you have been injured in a work-related electrical accident you may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits that may include some or all of the following:

  • Wage loss benefits
  • Medical benefits including hospital treatment, prescription medications, and prostheses
  • Temporary total or partial disability benefits
  • Permanent impairment benefits
  • Disfigurement benefits for scars, burn, or amputations related to the accident
  • Death benefits for dependents of a worker who suffers a fatal accident

Third-Party Claims

If your injury was caused by a party who is not your employer, you may be able to recover damages in a third-party personal injury lawsuit. For instance, if scaffolding on a construction site is not erected in compliance with OSHA guidelines and is too close to overhead power lines, a worker injured because of accidental contact with the live overhead line may have a case against the party responsible for installing the scaffolding.

Delaware Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Workers Injured in Electrical Accidents

If you have suffered injuries from an electrical accident at work, you may be entitled to compensation. At Rhoades & Morrow, our skilled and experienced Delaware Workers’ Compensation lawyers offer free consultations and will work with you to maximize the compensation available to you. Call (302) 427-9500 today to schedule an appointment in one of our three convenient locations. You can also contact us online. We represent injured workers in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and throughout the state of Delaware, including New Castle County and Sussex County.

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