Because we are surrounded by electricity 24/7 it is very easy to take it for granted. But anyone working in an environment where they must deal with electric currents should be aware of the potential dangers. Much of the machinery that is in common usage on construction sites operates at many thousands of volts. However, exposure to electricity as low as 50 volts can still cause considerable injury. Workers who are electrocuted on a building site receive a ‘shock’, and this means that when the current flows through them, it blocks the brain’s normal signals – leading to loss of muscle or nerve control.
The results of these accidents can be severe. Shock will cause everything from muscle spasms to broken bones. Exposure to excessive voltage can also affect the rhythm of the workers heartbeat, leading to potential for cardiac arrest. It is not only the immediate victim who is in danger; anyone going to their assistance may still be exposed to the hazardous voltage. As well as injury to people, faulty electrical equipment is a severe fire hazard. This is especially the case if the machinery is in the proximity of water, or chemicals.
What should an employer be doing to maintain safety?
In order to prevent any worker being electrocuted on a building site, their employer must enact key pieces of government regulations. Health and safety rules are designed to prevent accidents happening. It is up to the company to ensure that electrical equipment is tested on a regular basis and where any faults are identified they have to be addressed immediately. The workers who will be using the equipment must be trained to an appropriate level, and no other employees should be attempting to use the machinery.
Will Accident Advice Helpline provide assistance?
If you have been the unfortunate victim of an industrial accident involving electricity, you will undoubtedly be feeling traumatised. But if you believe that the fault lies elsewhere, we would like to hear from you. Phone Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500. We have years of experience in assisting with insurance claims exactly like yours. We can put you in touch with one of our compensation claims lawyers who will look into your case, and if it is felt that you have a case, this will be taken on-board on a strictly no win, no fee* basis.
Date Published: February 19, 2015
Author: David Brown