Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

What Are the Causes of Electrocutions on Construction Sites?

Electrocution risk on work site

What causes workplace electrocutions in the United States? What risks do construction workers face, and who is liable when electrocutions occur? Electrocutions on construction sites are often caused by faulty wiring, faulty equipment, working in close proximity to overhead power lines, or contact with buried lines that are not properly marked. When an electrocution occurs, a construction accidents lawyer can pursue liability from the construction company, the equipment manufacturer, or a government entity responsible for maintaining and marking power lines.

Between 1992 and 2010, 2,432 workers in the United States died of electrocution on construction sites. This represented approximately half of all workplace electrocutions in the country. By 2015, construction workers represented 61% of electrocution fatalities in the US. In 2016, 82 construction workers died from electrocution. That year, electrocution accounted for 8.3% of construction-related fatalities and was the third leading cause of death suffered by construction workers. While it is a decrease from the average of 9% recorded from 2003 to 2015, electrocution remains among the "fatal four" causes of construction fatalities, which also includes falls from height, strikes from objects, and crushing events.

From 2011 to 2015, 364 construction workers died from electrocution. Of these, 36% died from direct exposure to more than 220 volts. 18% died as a result of direct contact with less than 220 volts. 34% died due to indirect exposure greater than 220 volts, and 5% died from indirect exposure to less than 20 volts. 189 of these fatalities were the result of contact with electrical parts, 29 were caused when electrical wires contacted ladders, 28 occurred due to malfunctioning power tools, and electrical contact with trucks caused 23 fatalities. 39% of fatalities were caused by contact with power lines and transformers, while 37% resulted from contact with wiring within the building. By comparison, only 3% of work site electrocutions were caused by faulty electrical cords.

Flagrant violations of safety standards place workers at considerable risk of electrocution. OSHA has the authority to issue citations and fines to companies who violate safety standards. In 2017, violations of machine maintenance and guarding were the seventh most common violated standards, and violations of electrical, wiring, and component standards were the tenth most common citations issued. A construction accidents lawyer can help clients recover compensation for injuries and electrocutions caused by violating these safety standards.

Brad Pistotnik Law is a construction accidents lawyer, attorney, and abogado with attorneys, lawyers, and abogados who represent clients in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Illinois who are pursuing construction accident claims and the survivors of those who suffer a wrongful death. We represent clients in Wichita, Salina, Andover, El Dorado, Hesston, Hutchinson, Harper, Anthony, Medicine Lodge, Kiowa, Alva, Pratt, Arkansas City, Helena, Cherokee, Ponca City, Independence, Chanute, Fort Scott, Joplin, Bartlesville, Pawhuska, Vinita, Grove, Nevada, Carthage, Ozark, Branson, Monett, Bolivar, Wheatland, Marshfield, Bucklin, Dodge City, Liberal,Beaver, Booker, Cimarron, Tyrone, Shattuck, Meade, and elsewhere. Our office of construction accidents lawyers works with clients to thoroughly document and pursue claims.

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