A common construction site accident is injury due to electrical shock. In a majority of cases, electrical shock injury occurs when a crane or some other piece of construction machinery or construction equipment comes into contact with a power line or hot electrical wire. Electrical shock or electrocution injuries also occur when:
When electricity or an electrical charge comes into contact with a construction worker’s body, current can flow into or through the body and from there, can flow into other workers, equipment, or into the ground. When electrical current flows through the body, it can cause severe burns. It can also interrupt the body’s natural electrical signals, leading to heart attack (cardiac arrest) and death. High-voltage electrocution is often associated with brain injury, loss of consciousness, spinal cord injury, respiratory failure, amputation, and muscle damage, including loss of sensation, loss of coordination and/or complete loss of use of a hand, arm or leg.
The severity of electrical shock or electrocution injuries usually depends on three things: (1) the path the current travels in and through the body, (2) the amount of voltage (high-voltage versus low-voltage), and (3) the type of current (alternating current or AC versus direct current or DC).
New York State has special laws, known as “Labor Laws” that protect construction workers from injury or, if injured, that permit construction workers to recover from some or all of the people or companies that caused or contributed to their injury. The specific provisions of the New York State Labor Law are: