When considering construction accidents at work, injuries sustained from falling objects or falls from heights initially spring to mind. Unfortunately, there is another very real danger in the construction sector, which causes a high number of work-related injuries and fatalities each year.
Although electrocution implies fatality by electricity, there are a number of electrical injuries ranging in severity, all of which are a risk on construction sites, depending on the project.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), electrical injuries fall under the following four categories:
- Electric shock
A voltage of just 50 volts can cause an electric shock. For this to occur, the electricity must pass between two areas of the human body, creating a circuit. An electric shock can cause muscle spasms, stop the victim from breathing and prevent the heart from beating properly. The effect of an electric shock cannot be predicted and is dependent on a number of variables including the health of the individual, the voltage, the length of the shock and the environment.
- Electrical burns
Electrical burns can cause severe injuries and excruciating pain, in some cases they can cause disability and require extensive surgery. Electrical burns occur when electricity heats and burns the victim’s tissue.
- Loss of muscle control
One of the most predominant symptoms of electrical injury is muscle spasms. Depending on voltage, muscle spasms can cause serious injury, causing fractures, throwing the body to the ground or from heights, in construction.
- Thermal burns
Unlike electrical burns, thermal burns are sustained when electrical equipment gets hot and contact is made with the skin. This isn’t unusual as most electrical items can get hot during use.
Have you sustained an electrical injury at work?
While at work and undertaking work duties, your employer has a legal responsibility to ensure your health and safety.
This means that should the work-related accident have occurred at the fault of the employer, you may be able to claim personal injury compensation.
Checking your eligibility
Not all work accident claims are eligible for personal injury compensation. Generally for your claim to be considered, the incident must have occurred within the last three years and you must be able to prove that you are not liable for the accident at work.
Accident Advice Helpline is a law firm with over 15 years’ experience in work-related personal injury claims. Seek some free advice today, by speaking with a member of their expert team.
Date Published: February 13, 2014
Author: David Brown