Call Us Today

(800) 513-2403

Accidental Electrocution

Ohio Construction Accidents Lawyer


 

Electrocution injuries and deaths are some of the most tragic and preventable construction accidents. Poor site design, equipment misuse, and often simple inattention can lead to severe injuries and death due to contact with electrical wires. In fact, accidental electrocution is the fourth most common cause of death for construction workers.

Over the course of 12 years, a study conducted by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics demonstrated that 143 construction workers die annually as a direct result of accidental electrocution. However, deaths secondarily related to accidental electrocution – such as burns or falls – on construction sites are numbered as high as 400 per year.  Construction sites can be a dangerous place for workers, especially if they are not necessary specialized as electricians.  for example, unknown to many, the outer covering of power lines is primarily for weather protection, not to prevent electrocution of anything that comes into contact with them.

Joe Lyon is a highly rated Cincinnati Catastrophic Injury lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of civil litigation claims.  


Common Causes of Accidental Electrocution

  1. Crane contact with overhead power lines
  2. Excavator contact with power lines
  3. Ladder contact with power lines
  4. Improper use of extension cords and flexible cords causes them to wear and tear; when this occurs, live wire is exposed, thus posing a severe threat to those who make contact with it.
  5. Established safe work procedures were either not implemented or not followed
  6. Adequate or required personal protective equipment was not provided or worn
  7. Lockout/tagout procedures were either not implemented or not followed
  8. Compliance with existing OSHA, National Electrical Code, and National Electrical Safety Code regulations were not implemented
  9. Worker and supervisor training in electrical safety was not adequate

OSHA Standards to Prevent Accidental Electrocution due to Crane Contact with Power Lines

shutterstock_283494056

In order to avoid accidental electrocution, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has established standards necessary for appropriate work to be completed at construction sites.  Specifically in regards to crane usage, the OSHA explains that unless lines have been “de-energized and visibly grounded” or standalone, unattached insulating barriers have been put up to prevent contact with the lines, certain criteria need to be established.

Per former OHSA Standard 1926.550(a)(15) established before 2000, several crane specifications include:

  1. “For lines rated 50kV. or below, minimum clearance between the lines and any part of the crane or load shall be ten feet;”
  2. “For lines rated over 50 kV., minimum clearance between the lines and any part of the crane or load shall be 10 feet plus 0.4 inch for each 1 kV. over 50 kV., or twice the length of the line insulator, but never less than ten feet.;”
  3. “A person shall be designated to observe clearance of the equipment and give timely warning for all operations where it is difficult for the operator to maintain the desired clearance by visual means;”
  4. “Any overhead wire shall be considered to be an energized line unless and until the person owning such line or the electrical utility authorities indicate that it is not an energized line and has been visibly grounded;”
  5. “Combustible and flammable materials shall be removed from the immediate area prior to operations.”

Additional OSHA Specifications to Reduce Risk of Accidental Electrocution due to Crane Contact with Power Lines

Recently, the standards have been updated slightly to include more accurate specifications.  Requirements regarding cranes now fall under rules 1926.1400 to 1926.1442:

“Before assembling or disassembling equipment, the employer must determine if any part of the equipment, load line, or load (including rigging and lifting accessories) could get, in the direction or area of assembly/disassembly, closer than 20 feet to a power line during the assembly/disassembly process. If so, the employer must meet the requirements in Option (1), Option (2), or Option (3) of this section, as follows:

  1. “Confirm from the utility owner/operator that the power line has been de-energized and visibly grounded at the worksite;”
  2. Ensure that no part of the equipment, load line or load (including rigging and lifting accessories), gets closer than 20 feet to the power line by implementing the measures specified in paragraph (b) of this section;”
  3. Refer to a table with various voltages and clearance distances specified.

OSHA Regulations To Prevent Prevent Accidental Electrocution due to Ladder Contact with Power Lines

  1. Ladders shall have nonconductive side rails if they are used where the employee or the ladder could contact exposed electrical equipment.
  2. Portable metal or conductive ladders shall not be used near energized lines or equipment except as may be necessary in specialized work such as in high voltage substations where nonconductive ladders might present a greater hazards than conductive ladders.
  3. Conductive or metal ladders shall be prominently marked as conductive and all necessary precautions shall be taken when used in specialized work.”

Legal Representation

Ohio GM Lawyer

If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a faulty hip implant and have questions about the root cause and the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403.  You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions

 


[1] “Why are So Many Construction Workers Being Electrocuted?” Electronic Library of Construction Workers Being Electrocuted. http://www.elcosh.org/document/1599/d000539/Why%2BAre%2BSo%2BMany%2BConstruction%2BWorkers%2BBeing%2BElectrocuted%253F.html?show_text=1.
[2] “Electrocution is a Threat to Construction Workers.” Marvin A. Cooper, P.C. http://cooper-law.com/practice-areas/construction-site-accidents-lawyer-whiteplains/construction-site-accidents-electrocution/.
[3] “Construction Focus Four: Electrocution Hazards.” OSHA Training Institute. https://www.osha.gov/dte/outreach/construction/focus_four/electrocution/electr_ig.pdf.
[4] Worker Deaths by Electrocution, a Summary of NIOSH Surveillance and Investigative Findings.” National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Report No 98–131. Cincinnati, OH: NIOSH, May 1998. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/98-131/pdfs/98-131.pdf.
[5] “Frequently Violated OSHA Standards Related to Overhead Power Lines in the Construction Industry.” Occupational Safety and Health Administration. https://www.osha.gov/Region7/overheadpowerlines/elecstds.html.
[6] “Regulations.” Occupational Safety and Health Administration. https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=25.
After two hip replacement surgeries, I was informed that one of the prosthesis was the DuPuy Joint and the other was very similar but manufactured by a different company. After several attempts to contact the manufacturer directly to discuss the claim, I was met with bureaucratic red tape that appeared to be insurmountable. I then turned to Joe Lyon of the Lyon Law Firm who immediately cut through the pro I highly recommend Joe if you are faced with the need for this type of litigation.Tim Ross
I met Joe during what was easily one of the worst times of my life. My husband had been in a serious accident and was a quadriplegic following that accident and remained in one medical facility after another until his death nearly four years later. We had contacted an area attorney who told us we absolutely did not have a case. Then we called a Cleveland firm that took the case and brought in Joe. Joe did so much of the work and became just like family to us. I would highly recommend Joe to anyone and be willing to guarantee that he will do anything and everything possible to get satisfactory results. He is extremely dedicated to his clients and very hard working. Mike and I came to think of him like a son, I still do; if it wasn’t for him I don’t believe our case would have been settled the way it was and may have ended up in a courtroom where the results can go any way.Donna Urchak