In 2013, electrocutions were responsible for 71 fatal construction accidents. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) considers electrocutions to be in its “top four” category for fatal construction accidents, following closely behind falls and being caught in machinery.
Due to the threat of electrical hazards to worker safety, OSHA has strict guidelines to prevent electrocutions, including protecting wiring, properly installing electrical equipment and training employees on hazards relevant to their occupation. To help our readers understand what an electrical accident looks like and what can happen to workers injured by them, we are going to use an example that happened here in Middlesex County.
Middlesex County Worker Injured in Electrical Accident
An electrical accident happened in Middlesex County earlier this month when a warehouse worker was electrocuted by an improperly wired conveyor belt.
When police and EMS were called to the scene of the accident, they had to revive the worker. Police later charged the warehouse owner with obstruction of justice for providing false statements about what led to the accident.
In addition to possible criminal charges, the South Brunswick Fire Marshal has issued $52,000 in fines for safety violations. After an investigation of the near-fatal accident, OSHA cited the warehouse owner for 10 serious violations, with fines totaling $63,000.
Investigators found several reasons to cite the warehouse owner for an unsafe work environment. According to OSHA and the fire marshal, wiring was loose and unprotected and escape routes were narrow and blocked. In addition, there were several other obstructed passageways.
While the work accident had been the initial reason for an investigation, it became clear the warehouse owner had been allowing numerous other conditions considered unsafe by federal and local regulations.
Can Injured Employees Receive Workers’ Comp Benefits?
Workers who are injured by electrical hazards have the option of filing a claim for workers’ compensation or disability. If a worker is killed during an accident, his or her family might be eligible to receive weekly benefits to continue bringing in income.
In New Jersey, the maximum weekly payment that a worker can receive after filing a claim is $855 a week. Benefits can continue for up to 450 weeks, but can go beyond that limit if a worker can show that he or she is unable to work.
Spevack Law Firm – Middlesex County Injury Attorneys
Did You Know? According to OSHA statistics, the “fatal four” work accidents are falling, being struck by an object, electrocutions and being caught in machinery. Eliminating the fatal four would save 468 workers every year.