Electrical injuries are on the rise in the workforce. Between 2016 and 2017, there was a 35 percent increase in electrical injuries. An estimated 54 percent of these injuries occurred in construction workers. Electrical hazards, such as arc flashes, can not only cause fatalities, but they are also responsible for severe injuries that can cost over $1 million to treat. Preventing electrical injuries by exceeding minimal code requirements is the best way to prevent them from occurring in Pennsylvania and across the United States.
Experts recommend that employers must go beyond the basic requirements given in the National Electrical Code to keep both employees and property safe. Many electrical workplace injuries are due to improper bonding and grounding in the systems. This is a particular concern in data centers and emergency centers, which cannot risk losing electricity when arranging help in critical situations.
Upgrading electrical systems and equipment may also save an employer money. For example, a fire district in Colorado was spending $8,000 to $10,000 a year on electrical repairs from damage from lightning and other incidents. Upgrading the system made it safer for employees, reduced the risk of not responding in time due to power outages and reduced the money spent each year on repairs.
Workplace injuries often lead to costly medical bills, lost wages and the need for ongoing medical care. When an injury occurs at the workplace, employees have the right to compensation for medical care, lost wages and scarring. In this case, in employee who was injured as a result of an electrical injury at work has the right to compensation for medical expenses and rehabilitation. A lawyer who specializes in workers’ compensation may help an injured individual work to get the compensation he or she needs by filing a claim for the necessary care.