Every year, construction workers in New York and across the country sustain serious and fatal construction injuries as a result of the “fatal four,” or the deadliest types of construction accidents. While falls are cited as the leading cause of construction site deaths, electrocutions are also responsible for a startlingly high number of fatalities among construction workers. Indeed, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of all workers who sustained electrocution injuries between 2012-2016, nearly 80% were construction workers. In about 60% of those cases, according to the report, the electrocution resulted from “direct contact with electricity.”
If you lost a loved one due to a fatal electrocution injury in a construction accident, or if you suffered debilitating injuries after coming into contact with electricity on a construction site, you may be eligible to file a claim for financial compensation. Our New York construction accident lawyers want to provide you with more information about electrocution injuries, and then we want to tell you more about your options for seeking financial compensation.
Understanding Electrocution Accidents and Injuries on Construction Sites
Electrocution accidents are always avoidable on construction sites, and these serious and fatal injuries typically occur because somebody was negligent. In some cases, electrocutions can result from defective equipment, but in most cases, electrocutions arise when electrical safety training is not conducted properly or when construction sites do not comply with OSHA electrical safety standards. The CDC recommends that all construction site owners, employers, and general contractors consider the following safety precautions to prevent electrocutions on construction sites:
● General contractors should only be hired to conduct work involving electricity on a construction site when they have substantial experience doing this kind of work and mentoring subcontractors in electrical safety;
● All OSHA and NFPA electrical safety responsibilities should be outlined in writing (typically in the contract with the general contractor);
● General contractors should understand, and make clear in writing, that electrical safety precautions will not be compromised in any capacity in order to make deadlines or to improve a production schedule;
● Any construction workers conducting electrical work should receive proper training in a language they understand;
● Construction foreman should have extensive training in electrical safety and should be available to provide ongoing help with electrical safety and training on the construction site;
● Ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) should be used whenever temporary electric power is used on construction sites;
● General contractors should identify the location of any overhead and underground power lines, and should ensure that all workers know their location;
● All electrical circuits should be deenergized before any equipment is serviced;
● All tools should be inspected to ensure that there is no wear and tear, or damage, that could result in an electrocution; and
● All electrical equipment used on the construction site should be grounded and double insulated.
How to File a Lawsuit After an Electrocution on a Construction Site
Typically, a workplace accident can only give rise to a workers’ compensation claim. Yet in New York, a construction worker or his family can file a lawsuit against a negligent employer under New York labor law. When it comes to accidents arising out of negligent electrical safety precautions, a lawsuit will most likely be filed under New York Labor Law § 200, but you should discuss your case with a New York construction accident attorney who can help you to get the compensation you deserve.
Contact a New York Construction Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love sustained an electrocution injury in a construction accident, our New York construction accident lawyers can help you to file a lawsuit under New York labor law. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC for more information.