Welcome to Texas Work Injury Law Blog
This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for work injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by work injuries.
Posts Tagged ‘Electricity’
Wednesday, May 31st, 2017
Tragedy occurred in Sherman, Texas, on May 3, 2017, as workers at a Sherman apartment complex were lifting a flag pole. The flag pole fell onto a power line at about 9:30 a.m. Three workers were hit with a jolt of electricity. Kiley Russell was transported to Wilson N Jones Hospital, and he died from his injuries. Jackson Wells and Devin Schares are the other two workers, and they were transported to a hospital burn unit in Plano. They were both last reported to be in critical condition.
According to officials, wind caught the flag pole as the three men were trying to lift it from the ground; and that’s why it fell and hit the power line.
Power lines pose a threat to workers in a wide range of circumstances. In this tragic electrical accident in Sherman, it’s possible that a potential problem with the power line had not been given serious consideration. It was an unexpected turn of events that led to tragedy. Special care always needs to be taken, however, when the possibility of contact with electricity exists.
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides numerous guidelines related to electrical hazards. Workers in construction are especially at risk for dangerous exposure to electricity. OSHA’s basic electrical safety guidelines include the following:
- Assume that all overhead wires are energized with electricity at lethal voltages.
- Never touch a fallen overhead power line.
- If an overhead wire falls across your automobile while you’re driving, stay inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the power line or wire. If your engine stalls, do not touch your vehicle or the wire. Call the local electric company or ask someone else to do it.
Tags: Electric power transmission,Electricity,Overhead power line
Monday, October 27th, 2014
Burns, shocks, and electrocution (death by electricity) are all potential electrical hazards. The following are guidelines for electrical safety provided by the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA):
- When working near electricity, always proceed with caution.
- Do not assume that it is safe to touch an electrical wire, even when the wire appears to be insulated or if it is down.
- Always assume that overhead wires are energized with voltages capable of causing death.
- Do not touch an overhead power line that has fallen. Instead, contact the electric company and report it.
- When cleanup is taking place, stay at least 10 feet away from overhead wires.
- When working at heights or handling long objects, do a survey of the area before starting the work. Check for overhead wires.
- If you are driving your vehicle and an overhead wire falls across it, stay inside the vehicle and continue driving away from the wire. Do not leave your vehicle, if the engine stalls. Tell everyone in the vicinity not to touch the wire or the vehicle. Contact emergency services and the local electric company.
- Do not operate electrical equipment when standing in water.
- Do not repair electrical equipment or cords unless authorized and qualified.
- Before energizing electrical equipment that has gotten wet, have it inspected by a qualified electrician.
- When working in a damp environment, use a ground-fault circuit interrupter and ensure that the equipment and electric cords are free of defects and in good condition.
Tags: Electrical equipment,Electrical wiring,Electricity,Occupational Safety & Health Administration,Occupational safety and health,OSHA,Overhead line,West Carrollton Ohio
Friday, October 24th, 2014
In 2012 and 2013, the total numbers of workplace fatalities associated with electricity were 156 and 139, respectively, according to the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). The following are additional examples of fatal electrical workplace injuries.
- A worker on a water well drilling truck raised a mast, which touched a high voltage overhead line. As a result of the high-voltage contact, the worker was electrocuted. As explained in the first part of this series, electrocution is to be killed by electricity.
- In one deadly electrical incident, a worker was on residential property and had just finished drilling a water well. The man moved the truck and was standing at the controls. He was lowering the boom on the rotary drilling truck when it came into contact with an overhead power line. The man was electrocuted and thrown a few feet away from the truck.
- Two workers were moving an aluminum ladder, in one deadly incident. The ladder came into contact with power lines overhead, and one of the workers was electrocuted.
- A worker was connecting a new electrical service box to the electrical service drop on a building and was electrocuted in the process.
- A worker was standing on an 8’ fiberglass step ladder about 11’ 6 “ off the ground to change an energized ballast on a light fixture with two fluorescent bulbs when he was electrocuted and fell onto the concrete floor below.
In Part 1 of this continuing series, learn more about electrical workplace injuries. In the final segment, learn about safety tips for working around electricity provided by OSHA.
Tags: Construction,Construction worker,Death,Electricity,Electrocution,Occupational Safety & Health,Occupational Safety & Health Administration,United States
Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
Two men in Texas died of electrocution on October 15 in unrelated incidents. In Hooks, Texas, a 33-year-old man was working on a cable line for an Internet and cable company and was in a bucket truck when he touched a power line packed with 12,000 volts. The man was pronounced dead after being transported to a local hospital. A man in Sundown, Texas, was working at a school in the Sundown Independent School District and died of an electrical shock he sustained while working on a light pole. No students witnessed the accident or were harmed by the tragic electrical workplace fatality.
Electrical hazards are among the many potential dangers that occur in the workplace. The following is information about recognizing electrical hazards as well as avoiding and protecting against them:
- “Electrocution” is a term which means to die from electricity. When a person is exposed to a deadly amount of electrical energy, electrocution is the result.
- Electric shock occurs when an electrical current enters a person’s body at one point and exits it through another. The reflex response of the body to the passage of an electric current is an electrical shock.
- The most common electrical injury is a burn. The burns are in three categories: electrical, thermal contact, and arc/flash. Electrical burns are caused by the heat generated by the electric current which courses through the body. A thermal contact burn is the result of skin coming into contact with overheated electric equipment. An arc/flash burn is a high temperature burn caused by an electric explosion or arc.
- An arc flash is when electrical energy is suddenly released through the air as a result of a high-voltage gap existing when a breakdown between conductors occurs. Temperatures in an arc flash or blast have been recorded as high as 35,000 °F.
- Electrical fires can be the result of old wiring and faulty electrical outlets. Faulty plugs, extension cords, switches, and receptacles can also cause electrical fires.
In this continuing series, learn some specific examples of electrical injuries and fatalities that have occurred in the workplace.
Tags: Associated Press,Electric shock,Electricity,Electrocution,Sundown,Sundown Independent School District,Texas,West Texas
Friday, August 29th, 2014
The Part 1 of this two-part series and the following tips for preventing electric shock accidents and injuries in the workplace:
Post Warning Signs
Any workplace that has a threat of electrocution should have adequate warning signs that alert workers to potential dangers. Employees should be able to clearly see warning signs, for instance, when handling panels or electrical circuits. The signs should prevent workers from turning on the circuit when someone is working on the panel or circuit.
Turn Power Off
It is essential that all switches and power sources be turned off before heavy equipment is cleaned and before maintenance is performed. But the warning really extends to all devices powered by electricity. Prior to maintaining or cleaning any type of device powered by electricity, turn off the electrical source or unplug the device.
Avoid Wet Areas
Anytime a worker is dealing with electricity, all wet areas and wet surfaces should be completely avoided. Electrical equipment should be handled only in dry areas. There is a real danger of working around water because it is a strong conductor of electricity and it increases the potential for being electrocuted. If working with electricity around water is unavoidable, wear rubber boots and gloves; doing so will significantly decrease the effects of an electrical shock. Hands should be dry when plugging or unplugging cords.
Avoid Aluminum Ladders
Ladders are typically needed when workers are dealing with electric wires or circuits. Never use aluminum ladders around electricity because they are good conductors and can cause workers to be electrocuted. Use insulated fiberglass ladders as protection against electrocution.
Double Check Circuits
Rather than trusting that a unit or system has been turned off, test with a circuit, to be doubly sure. Electrocution often causes death and it also causes serious injuries that require lengthy recoveries.
Tags: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,Campbellsville Kentucky,Electric shock,Electrical wiring,Electricity,Kentucky,Ladder,Residual-current device
Monday, July 28th, 2014
Electrical burns suffered on the job can result in serious injuries and even death. There are three basic types of burns associated with electricity, as follows:
Electrical burns occur when an electric current flows in the tissue, whether all the way to the bone, skin-deep, or somewhere in between. There is heat generated by a current flow, which is what causes the tissue damage. If the body is unable to dissipate the heat delivered by an electric shock, the result is burned tissue, which is an injury that typically heals slowly.
Arc burns occur when there are electrical explosions or electric arcs that occur close to the body. Electric arcs are capable of igniting fires. Conductors which carry too strong of a current and overheating equipment can also start fires. Arcs that are extremely high-energy are capable of damaging equipment, which can result in fragmented metal flying in all directions. If there is combustible dust or if there are explosive gases in the air, a violent explosion can be caused even by a low-energy arc.
Thermal contact burns occur when the skin comes into contact with surfaces made hot by overheated conduits, electric conductors, or any other type of energized equipment.
There are times when a worker simultaneously sustains all three types of injuries shown above.
See Part 1 of this continuing series for more information about electrocution in the workplace, including safety tips related to electricity.
Tags: Arc flash,Dallas,Electric arc,Electric shock,Electricity,Electrocution,Old Sparky,Texas
Monday, November 7th, 2011
Many occupations expose employees to electrical hazards. Construction workers, linemen, and machine operators are but a few of those who all too often are injured by such problems as loose or unprotected wiring.
There are three basic kinds of accidents related to electricity. The first is electric shock. Our bodies are roughly three-quarters water, so it isn’t surprising we would be good conductors of electricity. All of us have received minor shocks, but moderate and severe ones can lead to an inability to breathe or to heart failure. In some cases, electrical shock is fatal.
Electrical burns occur when a worker receives a shock strong enough to burn body tissues. Such burns are most often external, but can also be internal. The electrical current passes along a bone to deep tissues. As you can imagine, deep tissue burns can be very serious.
Electrical fires are among the worst accidents, for they can involve an entire building in some cases. If flammable materials are in the immediate area, they may lead to an explosion. Should you try to put out the fire with the wrong equipment – such as a water-based extinguisher – the fire may spread.
Among the causes of electrical accidents in the workplace are frayed or old wires, machines that are not properly grounded, loose connectors, wires that are improperly placed, such as under carpets, etc. It is vital that employees who routinely work around electrical equipment be trained in safety measures. However, it is a good idea for all employees to receive such training.
– Guest Contributor
Tags: Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex,Electric shock,Electrical equipment,Electricity,Employment,safety equipment