Electricity Sign on an NYC Construction Site Fence Hofmann and Schweitzer Electrocution is a leading cause of construction worker injuries and fatalities. According to the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), electrocution is one of the construction industry’s “fatal four” because it is one of the four leading causes of work-related fatalities for construction workers in the United States. In 2017, 71 construction workers were killed by electrocution. This represented more than seven percent of all construction worker fatalities. Other construction workers were hurt by electrocution accidents.

Why Construction Workers Are at Risk for Electrocution

Electrocution happens in a variety of ways, including:

  • Contact with live wires and electrical equipment. Some electrocutions could be avoided if the wires or equipment were de-energized before a worker began work on them.
  • Contact with overhead power lines. Sometimes construction workers working on platforms, scaffolding, or other heights may be too close to power lines. If the construction worker touches the power line with his body or with an object, then electrocution can occur. Safety measures can be taken to make sure that construction workers have sufficient clearance from power lines or that power lines are de-energized before construction workers are close to them.
  • Working with machinery, lighting, or appliances. If the electricity is on while the construction worker is working with these things, then electrocution can result.

The risk of electrocution may be greater among electricians, but it is not limited to electricians. Anyone who is working on a New York City construction site is at risk of getting hurt. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Electricians
  • Laborers
  • Foremen
  • Power line installers
  • Roofers
  • Heat and air condition mechanics
  • Painters
  • Plumbers
  • Carpenters
  • Other construction workers

Electrocution accidents are not inevitable. Compliance with OSHA regulations, employee training, and reasonable care among construction workers could avoid many of these dangerous accidents and resulting injuries. Unfortunately, these precautions are not always taken and painful, permanent, and sometimes fatal injuries result.

Electrocution Injuries on New York City Construction Sites

When a construction worker comes into contact with electricity, the construction worker may immediately suffer from:

  • Burns
  • Internal organ damage
  • Cardiac problems
  • Respiratory distress
  • Death

Additionally, the electric shock may cause a secondary accident, such as a fall, that results in further injuries, such as broken bones.

If the construction worker survives the initial electrocution, then long-term health issues may persist, including:

  • Brain injuries
  • Heart problems
  • Nerve damage
  • Sensory deficits
  • Disfigurement

The specific injury suffered from the electrocution will depend on several different factors, including:

  • How much electricity the construction worker is exposed to at the time of the accident
  • How long the construction worker is exposed to electricity
  • How the electric current travels through the body
  • Whether there is any moisture on the construction worker that acts as a conductor of electricity
  • The health of the construction worker before the accident

Every time a construction worker suffers electrocution, it should be treated as a medical emergency. First responders and emergency room personnel can determine the appropriate course of action to treat any electrocution-related injuries so that pain may be minimized and any health issues can be diagnosed and treated before they get worse.

Compensation for NYC Construction Worker Electrocution Injuries and Deaths

The electrocution injury that you suffered, or that killed your loved one, has forever changed your life. You may be able to recover compensation for healthcare costs, lost income, disability benefits, and death benefits. Additionally, if the electrocution was caused by a third party who did not employ you or your loved one, then you may also be able to recover compensation for physical pain, emotional suffering, and other damages.

Contact Hofmann & Schweitzer ∙ 212-465-8840

You have suffered enough for your workplace injuries. You should not have to suffer the financial losses that go along with an electrocution accident. Instead, we encourage you to learn all about your rights by requesting a free copy of our publication, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone. You can also contact us online our call our experienced New York City construction accident lawyers directly at 800.362.9329 today to schedule your free initial consultation.


Timothy F. Schweitzer
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Personal injury lawyer specializing in maritime, construction and railroad injury claims.