Workers in almost all California industries have to deal with electrical hazards, and employers must ensure that safety training includes identification and control of hazards that could cause electrical shocks, some of which could be fatal. Inexperience and inadequate training could have devastating consequences. A significant percentage of annual workers’ compensation claims involve injuries caused by electricity.
Workers at risk include overhead line workers, electricians, engineers and most other occupations. Hazards include electrical repairs and installations, along with testing equipment and fixtures. However, even those who do not directly work with electricity, such as office workers and construction workers will be exposed to electrical hazards. Overhead power lines threaten all workers, and disregarding prescribed safety regulations could cause contact with the high voltage lines.
Damaged equipment and tools pose significant risks, and only those who are qualified should carry out repairs of electrical objects. Before using tools, workers should check cables, cords and wires for abrasions, cracks or cuts, and avoid using damaged electrical objects. Exposed electrical parts on temporary lighting, detached insulation parts, and electrical power distribution units are some of the circumstances that pose electrocution hazards.
Workers in California who have to deal with the consequences of electrical shocks will likely be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. An attorney with experience in dealing with injured workers can assist with the benefits claims process. Benefits typically include compensation to cover medical expenses and lost wages. The surviving family members of workers who lost their lives generally qualify to claim workers’ compensation survivor’s benefits to cover end-of-life expenses and a financial package to make up for wages.