Every year in the United States, hundreds of people lose their lives and thousands more are injured as a result of being exposed to electricity. Some cases of electrocution can be traced back to negligent behavior, both in the workplace and in the home. This can happen when there are unsafe working conditions, not enough safety training, flaws in the way electrical appliances are made or designed, poor work by a handyman or independent contractor, or when a utility company doesn’t repair broken power lines in a safe way.
If you or someone you love has died or been seriously hurt by electricity because of someone else’s carelessness, you should speak to a lawyer who specializes in electrical injuries and power line accidents to get a free evaluation of your case. Matzus Law, LLC maintains specialized lawyer-and-doctor teams for the purpose of investigating and evaluating potential claims of electrical harm.
Injuries Associated with Accidents involving Power Lines and Electrocutions
Electrical current can cause a number of serious injuries, including burns on the skin and burns inside the body. This can cause the arteries to swell and squeeze, which cuts off blood flow to the rest of the body. It is even possible for it to develop cataracts, as well as dangerous irregular heart rhythms and renal damage.
A jolt from an electrical source can sometimes be the cause of a slip and fall accident, which can afterward result in shattered bones. Spinal cord injuries that damage nerves can lead to a wide range of symptoms, such as impotence, paralysis, numbness, and constant pain. Loss of short-term memory, brain hemorrhages, personality changes, difficulty sleeping, and seizures are among the symptoms that can be brought on by electrical injury to the nerves and brain.
Electrocution is the cause of a lot of serious injuries and deaths in the workplace; each year, about 250 cases are reported. In addition, around 3,000 people per year have injuries from electrical accidents that require them to take time off of work while they recover.
How Common are Power Line and Electrical Accidents?
Between the years 2011 and 2018, overhead power wires were the cause of 38% of all occupational deaths that were related to electrical activity. The majority of these fatalities took place in professions that provided little to no training in electrical safety, and as a result, they were preventable.
The most common ways that people become electrocuted on the job are by contact with overhead power lines and wiring, transformers, or other electrical components. A lot of the time, there are also tools, appliances, and machines involved.
Occupations That Put Workers at the Highest Risk of Being Killed by Falling Power Lines
According to a paper released by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, since the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) began collecting data for its Census of Fatal Occupational Injury (CFOI) database in 1992, the number of incidents involving injuries caused by overhead power lines (OHPL) has consistently exceeded that of all other categories of electrical injuries. From 1992 to 2010, OHPL injuries killed 44% of the people who died because of electricity. This was followed by contact with wiring, transformers, or other electrical components (27%), and then contact with the electric current of equipment, tools, appliances, or light fixtures (17%).
Many people are under the impression that the only people who can get injuries from OHPLs are those who engage in professions that include using OHPLs. An analysis of the data shows that a large number of people die in OHPL accidents in many different kinds of jobs. In addition to construction laborers, painters, roofers, and truck drivers, occupations such as “electrical power-line installers and repairers” and “electricians” are responsible for a considerable number of on-the-job electrocutions caused by overhead power lines (OHPL).
How to Prevent Power Line Injuries on the Job
If you’re a construction worker, remember to keep your eyes up at all times while you’re working on a construction site because doing so could save your life.
If a vehicle or object comes into touch with a power line or utility pole:
- Always assume that any and all lines could be active and hazardous.
- Warn everyone around you not to approach the car, the fallen power lines, or anything else that could potentially be in contact with the fallen power lines.
- Warn others around you to maintain a distance of at least 35 feet.
- If you do not see smoke or fire, you should remain where you are or inside your vehicle.
- Call 911
In the event of a smoke alarm or fire:
- It is imperative that you do not simultaneously contact the ground and the vehicle.
- Leap out of the moving car while keeping your feet together.
- Move quickly and don’t elevate your feet off the ground.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident involving a power line or electrocution in Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, or anywhere else in Pennsylvania, please do not hesitate to get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney at Matzus Law, LLC.
Matzus Law, LLC is one of the most prominent legal companies in Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh that has the capability to litigate claims involving electrical injuries and power line accidents. You can get a free review of your case by calling us at (412) 206-5300 or by filling out our convenient online contact form.
The articles on this blog are for informational purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.