An electrical burn injury can occur from exposure to high amounts of electricity through contact with exposed wires, faulty appliances, or electrical sockets. These burns can also result from being struck by lightning, although this happens in very rare instances.
Electrical burns usually happen when people fail to follow safety precautions, mainly because they’re not aware of the dangers that they’re exposed to in certain conditions. This is especially true among homeowners and landlords who conduct home improvements as well as workers whose jobs involve being in close range with electrical products.
Electrical burns don’t only cause serious injuries but can also take lives. Because of this, many organizations have come up with safety laws to prevent accidents from taking place and keep people away from electrical burn injury.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission, for example, requires antenna manufacturers and importers to put warning labels on their products and include installation instructions. This comes from the fact that outdoor antennas, particularly those used for televisions and CB base stations, have caused numerous electrical accidents over the years.
The main cause of these accidents is when people fail to properly judge the distance between the antenna and the power lines in the area. This means that, when the consumer puts up the antenna on their roof or takes it down, it inadvertently touches the power line and allows electrical current to reach the person holding the antenna. With proper instruction and warning labels, consumers can become alerted to this danger and take precautions when installing or removing outdoor antennas.
The same thing happens with metal ladders when they’re used for outdoor jobs — people either misjudge the distance between the ladder and the surrounding power lines, or they properly gauge the distance but lose control of the heavy ladder. Both of these can result in the ladder touching a power line and causing electrocution and electrical burns.
This has lead the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to require companies to comply with the regulations set by the Occupational Safety and Health Association. These regulations prohibit employers and their staff from using portable metal ladders when they’re doing electrical work or if they’re working in an area where the ladders can easily get in contact with electrical conductors. Most ladders nowadays also have the American National Standards Institute warning sticker, which describes the electrical hazard they bring, the possible results of ignoring this warning, and the ways to avoid or minimize the hazard.
Preventing Electrical Accidents
Of course, safety rules and regulations don’t completely protect people from electrical burn injury, so practical steps should still be taken to prevent accidents.
Employers, for example, should invest in ladders with fiberglass links, which isolate electrical current and prevent them from reaching the person holding or standing on the ladder. It’s also helpful to wrap Teflon or any other nonconducting and insulating material around the top half of extension ladders.
Employers should also require their workers to wear special protective equipment when doing electrical jobs or working in areas near power lines. These include including helmets, rubber insulating gloves and sleeves, and goggles that are specially designed to protect the corneal epithelium in the eyes. Workers should also do their part by complying with this requirement and wearing the prescribed protective apparel when needed.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
If you have incurred an electrical burn injury at work, you can obtain financial compensation for the physical, mental, and emotional trauma you’ve gone through. Call McEwen Law Firm to know how we can help you.
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