One worker suffered fatal injuries and another was critically injured in a New Jersey construction accident after both were electrocuted while building scaffolding at the worksite the morning of Oct. 11. According to a report on NJ.com, a third worker was hospitalized with burns not considered life threatening. All worked for a siding company subcontracted to perform work on townhomes being built on the 100 block of Quincy Court in Woodbridge.
Officials said a worker on the roof who was holding a scaffolding pole secured by rope lost control of it as two other workers on the ground tried to guide it to place. The pole then touched a high voltage wire injuring the workers. Emergency personnel began resuscitation at the work site before the men were taken to area hospitals. The man who died and the two others who were injured were all on the ground. The worker on the roof was not injured. All victims were in their early to mid 20s. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating this fatal construction accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families that have been affected by this incident.
According to OSHA, falls, struck-by incidents, caught in/between incidents and electrocutions account for a majority of fatal construction accidents in the United States. For this reason, these four causes are known as the “Fatal Four” in the construction industry. In 2016, 63.7 percent of all construction site deaths were from one of these four causes. During that same year, electrocution accounted for 82 construction worker deaths, which is 8.3 percent of the 991 deaths caused by construction site hazards.
Electrocution is defined as death by electric shock, which is caused by exposure to lethal amounts of electrical energy. Electricity typically flows through conductors such as wires and power lines to create a path or complete a circuit. The human body essentially acts as a conductor when it comes into contact with a source of electrical current. Electrocution may occur as a result of contact with power lines, with energized sources such as faulty equipment or exposed wires. Both overhead and underground power lines carry high voltage.
Types of Electrical Injuries
The most common types of injuries sustained in these types of incidents are burns. There are three kinds of burn injuries that typically sustained in electrical incidents:
• Electrical burns: These cause tissue damage and are the result of heat generated by the flow of electric current through the body. These are serious injuries and require immediate medical attention.
• Flash burns: High temperatures near the body produced by an electric arc or explosion cause these types of burn injuries. These should also be treated right away.
• Thermal contact burns: These occur when skin comes in contact with overheated electric equipment or when clothing is ignited in an electrical incident.
• Internal injuries: Excessive electricity flowing through the human body can cause serious damage to internal organs. This may cause internal bleeding, tissue destruction and nerve or muscle damage.
• Involuntary muscle contraction: Muscles violently contract when stimulated by excessive amounts of electricity. These involuntary contractions can damage muscles, tendons and ligaments and may even cause broken bones. Also, injury or death may result when violent muscle contractions cause workers to fall off ladders, scaffolds or inadvertently strike other objects.
Protecting Workers’ Rights
Workers who are injured in construction accidents may be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits, which typically cover medical and drug expenses and a portion of lost wages. Families that have lost loved ones in a construction accident may be able to seek death benefits. In addition, workers and their families may be able to file a third-party lawsuit for substantial money damages against a number of parties, and therefore have two sources of compensation. Workers are entitled to compensation even if they are undocumented.
Third-party claims are typically filed against parties other than the employer or co-employees and may include general contractors, sub-contractors, building owners, managing agents, construction companies, etc. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitative treatment, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.
Contacting an NYC Construction Accident Attorney
If you have suffered injuries in a construction accident, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. Our law firm recovered $3,375,576 for a construction worker (an undocumented immigrant) who was injured on the job – one of the highest construction case settlements in New York that year. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
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