Try for just a moment to imagine life without electricity. It is more than just a silly pun – modern life runs on electricity. While it is a present-day essential, we should always remember that electricity is powerful and potentially dangerous. Few know this truth better than those in the construction industry. Our Panama City construction accident lawyer is here to help when construction worker electrocutions injure or kill those working to improve Northwest Florida's future.
The potential danger of electrocution in the construction industry became a reality on Tuesday. WJHG reports that the accident occurred while workers were completing concrete repairs on the Harrison Avenue First Baptist Church's bell tower. According to Panama City police, workers with Quality Plus Services were lowering scaffolding when they lost control and hit a live power line. Two men were injured.
When emergency responders reached them, they performed CPR on one who had gone into cardiac arrest. The second man suffered 3rd degree burns. Both men were lowered to the ground and taken to Bay Medical Sacred Heart. The burn victim is expected to be transferred to an Augusta, Georgia burn unit. The accident knocked out power to a large area in downtown Panama City for approximately two hours.
A report by CPWR – the Center for Construction Research and Training – addresses the question "Why Are So Many Construction Workers Being Electrocuted?", an issue of great concern since electrocution ranks as the fourth-leading cause of death for construction workers nationwide. Each year 143 construction workers die from electrocution, per government data from 1992 to 2003. Not surprisingly, electrical workers suffer the most electrocutions with construction laborers, carpenters, supervisors, and roofers rounding out the five fields with the highest number of electrocutions.
For electricians, the greatest risk of electrocution comes from working with live wires (versus de-energized wires). For other workers, the biggest risk is contact with overhead power lines. This risk stems from the failure to maintain proper minimum clearance distances or the failure to protect or de-energize the lines. Other electrocutions involved touching items that became electrified by contact with live equipment. Working in cramped areas and standing in water also contributed to a significant number of electrocutions.
Workers injured on the job and families who lost a loved one in a workplace accident have a right to compensation. In injury cases, worker's compensation is the first recourse and typically the only way to recover from the employer itself. In many cases, however, there may be a third-party (for example, a subcontractor, property owner, or equipment manufacturer) who contributed to the injury, and a personal injury claim against that party may exist. Where the injury resulted in death, the family may have a wrongful death claim for damages beyond the death benefits provided under workers compensation. Additionally, intentional wrongdoing is an exception to the exclusivity of the workers compensation system and can give rise to claims against an employer.
Attorney Wes Pittman has served Northwest Florida for over 25 years. His expertise includes working as a lawyer for injured construction workers in Panama City and the surrounding region. Call to arrange a free consultation. Under our contingency fee agreements, there is no fee unless you recover money.