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Electricians are responsible for designing, installing, and maintaining electrical wiring systems. Every aspect of modern life—both indoor and outdoor—needs the expertise of electricians to ensure that things function smoothly. The systems they maintain may be residential, commercial, or deal with heavy machinery and industrial equipment.

Electricians may be found with construction workers laying the wiring for new buildings or installing updated electrical systems for old buildings that are being renovated. They also maintain our power supply working outdoors year-round in every kind of weather to do repairs to power lines, transformers, transmission lines, and traffic signals.

Occupational Risks

Dealing with electricity every day comes with significant risk because mistakes can be instantly lethal. Non-lethal electrical work accidents can also inflict serious injury. Electricians working on power supply lines may have to scale the power poles when a lift bucket is not available. The job may also require the trimming of trees to free power lines. Some of the injuries common to those working as electricians include:

  • Electrical Burns: Electrical burns result from direct contact with an electrical current and are different from burns suffered from heat (thermal burns). The electricity travels through tissue under the skin damaging all the layers underneath, sometimes severely. It is easy to underestimate the damage from an electrical burn and complication risks during recovery are much higher than for other types of burns
  • Thermal Burns: Electricians can also experience thermal burns when electricity travels through the air, called an arc flash or blast. Arc flashes can reach temperatures as high as 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit causing instant and severe thermal burns.
  • Fall Injuries: Electricians often work at heights, whether they are outdoors working on power lines, or indoors on ladders installing electrical wiring. A fall can be a primary cause of injury when a worker falls from their location, or secondary if contact with electrical current throws them from the location and they fall and sustain injuries.
  • Electrical Shock Injuries: According to OSHA, many of the electrical injuries suffered by electricians are to the hands where workers come into contact with electrical wiring or equipment. Severe electrical shock can also affect the brain, cause strain to the heart and other internal organs.
  • Electrical Shock Fatalities: Exposure to electrical current for too long can be fatal. Currents greater than 75mA can cause the heart to lose function within a few minutes unless a defibrillator is used to resuscitate the victim. For reference, a small power drill uses 30 times that amount of current.
  • Electrocution: Some electrical accidents involve currents so strong that a worker may be killed instantly.
  • Non-electrical Injuries: Non-electrical injuries common to electricians include sprains and strains and other overexertion injuries and repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and other musculoskeletal disorders. These types of injuries can affect the back, knees, hands, and fingers making it difficult to continue working or even performing normal daily tasks.

Causes of Electrical Injuries

Many work injuries are preventable including those caused by electricity. By providing proper equipment and training for workers, many accidents can be avoided. Some common causes of electrical injuries are defective equipment, improper maintenance, such as failure to use lockout/tagout procedures, and equipment coming into contact with overhead powerlines.

Workers’ Compensation

Electricians injured on the job can receive Workers’ Compensation benefits, which cover medical treatment, wages lost, and vocational rehabilitation for workers who cannot return to their jobs. Families who have lost a loved one can receive death benefits.

If your injury was caused by defective equipment or another party who is not your employer, a third-party claim may be possible, which can recover damages for pain and suffering not available through Workers’ Compensation.

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP Help Injured Electricians

If you or someone you love has been injured on the job, contact a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer of Gross & Kenny, LLP. Call 267-589-0090 or complete our online form to schedule an initial consultation. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, allowing us to serve Pennsylvania and New Jersey.