Electricians work in a diverse range of environments that expose them to the dangers of industrial machinery, heights, and falling objects. In addition to these, the electrician must face the hazards of electricity. While opinions differ among electricians about the danger of their profession, it is clear that a moment’s inattention or the failure to follow safety protocol can have severe or fatal consequences. Sometimes third-party negligence contributes to the circumstances of an electrician’s accident.
Exposure to electrical hazards is not limited to electricians however. Any person working with or around electrically powered machinery and equipment faces some risk. Accidents may occur from dated or damaged equipment or unsafe practices. If you or a loved one were injured in an electrical accident, anOdessa work injury lawyer can advise you on your legal options.
The Three Types of Electrical Accidents
While electricity can pose indirect dangers such as an electrical fire, its primary hazards are:
- Electrical shock. An electric shock occurs when electrical current flows through the human body. An injury’s severity depends on the electrical amperage and path taken through the body. Current passing through the heart or extreme heat-producing currents that burn tissue within the body can be fatal.
- Electric arc burns. While electric shock requires contact with an energized electrical conductor, an electric arc burn does not. When electricity passes through the air such as a lightning bolt, it is called an electric arc. High current arcs generate temperatures hotter than four times the surface of the sun. The radiant heat from such temperatures can produce severe burns from as far away as ten feet. Arcing of this intensity happens during electrical shorts or ground faults in high power equipment such as power-transformers. This danger is also present near power-lines. Electricians are the typical victims of arc burns.
- Electric arc blast. Electric arcs can release enough heat energy to cause a rapidly expanding wave of superheated vapor. This blast or explosion can be fatal if it has sufficient power or occurs in a confined space. Flying debris and molten metal add to the hazard. As with electric arc burns, electricians are the typical accident victims.
Common Causes of Electrical Accidents
- Failure to follow safe working practices.
- Inattention to surroundings.
- Failure to use proper safety gear.
- Failure to properly de-energize the system.
- Intentionally bypassing safety devices.
- Failure to use a qualified electrician.
- Lack of safety devices.
- Substandard wiring.
- Lack of warning signs or labeling.
To learn more about how CHILDS BISHOP & WHITE P.C. can put their experience to work for you after being injured in an electrical accident, please contact us.