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3 Causes of Electrocution on Construction Sites

Los Angeles Construction Accident LawyerConstruction sites can be dangerous places. Workers are at risk for falls and for being caught between objects. But one of the most pressing dangers construction workers face is electrocution.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) compiles a “Fatal Four” report of the most common construction site accidents and electrocution is on the list.

What causes electrocution on construction sites? Here are the 3 most common causes.

Overhead power lines

Overhead power lines are the most common cause of electrocution.

Metal ladders and lifts are frequently used on construction sites. If they come into contact with overhead power lines, the workers on them run the risk of electrocution.

Because of this danger, OSHA has very firm requirements about overhead power lines. Workers should be a minimum of 10 feet from overhead power lines containing a maximum of 50,000 volts. They should include an additional 10 feet and 4 inches for every increment of 10,000 volts beyond 50,000.

Workers on a site near power lines may sometimes assume that the power lines have been deactivated or de-energized. It’s very important never to assume that the power lines are safe.

Extension cords

Extension cords that are improperly maintained and improperly used can become conduits for electrocution.

Extension cords on construction sites often have to extend around window sills, doors, and unfinished surfaces. These can exert wear and tear on even heavy industrial cords beyond the norm. The surfaces can fray and expose the interior. The plug-ins can become unsafe.

Extension cords need to be regularly inspected as part of safety precautions on the site. They need to be replaced if they begin to show signs of wear or damage.

Damaged or Defective Equipment

Equipment that is either damaged or defective can also pose a risk of electrocution. Equipment needs to be inspected frequently to ensure it is safe to operate. If it has become damaged due to hitting an obstacle or being used improperly, it needs to be removed from active service and inspected.

California construction accident attorneys

The Los Angeles area is home to thousands of construction projects every year. It’s part of what makes our area vibrant and full of growth.

But tragedies can happen on construction sites throughout southern California. If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction site accident, Ellis Injury Law is here to help. We offer tenacious, results-oriented advocacy and will never settle for less than you deserve.

Call our offices today for a free case review with construction accident lawyers Los Angeles has come to trust.

Resources on Electrocution Risks on Construction sites:

  1. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Workplace Safety and Health Topics. Electrical Safety. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/electrical/default.html