Does your profession require the use of electrical equipment or manipulation of wiring and electricity?
Certain professions, including electricians, engineers, and power line workers are directly exposed to electricity and its hazards. However, employees from construction workers to individuals in theatre production and lighting will indirectly encounter electricity at work. The potential for electrical shock is present in nearly every profession and place of business.
If an electrical shock causes injury in the workplace, whether or not it is a known risk of your profession, a claim for workers’ compensation in New Jersey may be made.
Know the Risks
Faulty electrical equipment, misuse of electrical appliances, and improper installation of electrical devices cause job-related injuries every year in New Jersey. Some are minor injuries such as second-degree burns, while other employees can be seriously hurt. In most instances, the effects of an electrical shock require some medical attention, and employees should not underestimate the seriousness of a burn due to electric shock.
Burns are the most frequent employee injury from electrical shock. Based upon the amount of current and its path through the body, burns from an electrical accident can have few or many lasting effects. However, a medical professional should treat even minor electrical burns. Other injuries include:
- irregular heartbeat,
- fibrillation of the heart
- muscle spasms
- broken bones or fractures from severe spasms
- damage to muscle tissue and
- injuries from being tossed or thrown during an electrical accident.
Electrical shock can result in death. Last year, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration received reports of 81 employees dying of electrical shock on construction sites alone.
To prevent these unfortunate incidents employers take steps to protect employees from electrical hazards and impose specific safety standards. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration imposes certain guidelines for employers, but best practices could be specific to your industry. If you notice unsafe equipment or unsafe work practices being used, the conditions should be reported.
Legal Recourse for Injuries
Despite efforts to keep places of employment free from electric shock injuries, accidents do occur. Sometimes electrical shock injuries were caused by another employee’s negligence or even your own, even in these instances, employees are still entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
The availability of workers’ compensation benefits is different and separate from determining negligence or liability. Therefore, employer should not and cannot deny workers’ compensation benefits in New Jersey because of misuse of electrical equipment or failure to follow safety procedures. If you were denied workers’ compensation benefits for this reason, or others you feel are unfair or inappropriate, you need to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Qualified Legal Assistance
The Law Office of Albert J. Talone represents employees who suffered both minor and major injuries by electrical shock. This includes representation of spouse or family members for workers’ compensation benefits related to the death of an employee. If you need to speak with a qualified lawyer regarding your electric shock injury or filing a workers’ compensation claim, contact our office at (856)-234-4023.