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Protecting workers from becoming victims of electrical accidents

Workers who must work with or in the vicinity of power lines and other electrical sources are at an increased danger of suffering electrical-related injuries. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, "five occupational groups account for nearly 80 percent of all fatal electrical accidents," these groups include construction, installation and repair, ground maintenance and transportation and moving.

From nonfatal injuries related to burns and shocks to fatal electrocutions, injuries related to electrical accidents are often painful and serious. Among the leading causes of nonfatal electrical injuries are workers who come into contact with wiring, transformers and other electrical components as well as with electrical currents running to machines, appliances and light fixtures.

Among the leading causes of electrical-related fatalities are construction and utility workers who come into contact with overhead power lines. Additionally, workers who come into contact with wiring or other electrical components or the electrical currents used to power machines and appliances.

Employers in the most-at risk industries for electrical accidents have a legal duty to protect workers from known dangers and hazards. This includes providing sufficient safety information and training on ways to avoid such hazards are well as the use of safety and protective equipment and gear.

The risks of workers suffering electrical-related accidents may increase during the winter months when weather conditions and cold-weather clothing gear may inhibit a worker's ability to see potential hazards and avoid contact with power sources. Workers who are injured in accidents related to downed power lines or blown transformers are advised to consult with an attorney who handles worker's compensation matters who can provide advice and assistance throughout the claims process. Additionally, an attorney can help determine if an employer other third-party may be negligent in contributing to a worker's injuries.

Source: Electrical Safety Foundation International, "20 Years of Electrical Injury Data Shows Substantial Electrical Safety Improvement," Dec. 22, 2015

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