Electrical Shock and Electrocution

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: 

  • electricity travels through water;
  • electricity arcs or jumps from one object to another;
  • construction equipment fails; and
  • wiring short-circuits.

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: 

  • Section 200;
  • Section 240; and
  • Section 241(6).
Section 200 is a general provision that requires jobsite owners and contractors, and their agents, to provide a safe workplace for construction workers and lawful visitors, and imposes liability for injuries sustained at an unsafe workplace.  Section 240 is a specific provision concerning precautions that must be taken to prevent construction site falls, or falls from a height, and liability for fall-related injuries.  Section 241(6) is a specific provision concerning steps that must be taken to ensure compliance with the New York State Industrial Code, and liability for violations of the New York State Industrial Code.

The trial lawyers at Bottar Law, PLLC, have decades of experience investigating, prosecuting and trying to verdict cases involving electrical shock or electrocution at a jobsite.  If you or a loved have been injured while working at a jobsite, you and your family may be entitled to compensation for lifelong health care, medical expenses, medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. 

To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced Central New York construction site accident attorney, contact us now at (315) 422-3466, (800) 336-LAWS, or by e-mail at info@bottarleone.com.