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Construction Workers and Electrocutions

OSHA reported that 21.1% of worker fatalities in private industry occur in construction. The leading causes of private sector worker deaths (excluding highway collisions) in the construction industry include falls, followed by struck by object, electrocution, and caught-in/between. They call these accidents the “Fatal Four.”

The Fatal Four were responsible for more than half (63.7%) the construction worker deaths in 2016, BLS reports. They state that eliminating the Fatal Four would save 631 workers’ lives in America every year.

Although less frequent than falls, too many construction workers electrocute themselves while working. These injuries or deaths can easily be limited by following safety precautions. However, injuries can occur regardless of your precautions.

With so many wires and metal objects, workers need to stay aware of their surroundings. And if you suffer an injury, follow up with a qualified construction accident attorney.


The fourth leading cause of death among construction workers is electrocution.On average, electricity kills 143 construction workers each year. Deaths includes electricians, construction laborers, carpenters, and roofers.

More than half the electrocutions of electrical workers were caused by direct or indirect contact with live electrical equipment and wiring.

For example, in August, an electrician at a Near North Side construction site was injured after getting shocked. While working at a new construction site on the 800-block of North Clark Street in Chicago, he was shocked. They transported the man in his thirties to Northwestern Memorial Hostpial in serious condition. But luckily, they upgarded him to good condition.

Similar injuries can happen every day on a job site.


The Center for Construction Research and Training recommends these procedures w.

Contractors should comply with OSHA regulations and train employees on electrical safety. Additionally, contact utility companies in advance to de-energize or insulate overhead power lines.

If asked to work live, verify with owner/client that de-energizing non-critical circuits. Lastly, only allow work on live electrical circuits/parts in accordance with a permit system with specific procedures. And always remember to only allow permitted electrical workers to work on live circuits

Electrical workers should:

  • De-energize and lock out or tag out electrical circuits/parts near where you work
  • Work only on live electrical circuits/parts in accordance with a permit system
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Use proper tools with live circuits

If you have been injured in an electrocution while working at a construction site, please call the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd today for a free consultation.

R.F. Wittmeyer

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