Among all of the potentially fatal hazards that workers are subjected to in industrial job environments, electrocution hazards can be one of the most dangerous and least predictable; this is due, in large part, to the unseen threat of high voltages and large electrical current loads associated with heavy machinery and other industrial manufacturing equipment.
Modern industry relies on electricity to produce goods and build the residential and commercial buildings that the economy needs to remain healthy. It is because electrical service is so essential to modern life — both in our homes and industrial settings — that everyone is at some time during the day exposed to potentially deadly shock hazards.
For most people, however, the risk of electrocution is relatively low, though still potentially dangerous. However, for others, such as electricians, plant engineers, electronics technicians, high-tension line workers, factory employees and construction workers, exposure to high voltages is not uncommon.Industrial Electrocution Accidents on the Job
Electricity in the home and workplace has become such a ubiquitous part of daily life that many people fail to give serious thought to the detrimental effects of contact with high voltage. More importantly, though most professionals are trained to work safely around electrical devices and power sources, there are instances when even a seasoned worker can end up being fatally injured by electricity due to failure of his or her employer to provide required safety mechanisms or procedures.
Sadly, when unprotected high voltage is encountered by a factory employee, construction worker or power company lineman, the results can often be fatal. If a loved one has been killed while on the job as a result of an electrocution accident, our experienced team of workers’ compensation lawyers can help the victim’s surviving family members recover death benefits due them under New Jersey law.
The attorneys at law offices of Jonathan F. Marshall understand that electrical-related on-the-job accidents cause hundreds of fatalities every year. As professional workers’ compensation attorneys, we know how devastating a death from electrocution can be to the victim’s loved ones.
Generally, workers’ compensation insurance (or workers’ comp, as it is often referred) provides for monetary losses when a worker is injured or killed on the job. However, because benefits can often fall far short of filling the needs of a family that has lost its primary breadwinner, our experienced electrocution injury lawyers can help survivors determine if a third-party lawsuit on the victim’s behalf is appropriate.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established numerous standards to address many of the electrical hazards that can cause potential injury or death to workers in many different industries. OSHA has published its general industry electrical safety standards under Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 1910.302 through 1910.308 — Design Safety Standards for Electrical Systems, and 1910.331 through 1910.335 — Electrical Safety-Related Work Practices Standards.
These electrical standards are derived from standards established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), National Electric Code (NEC), as well as the NFPA’s Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces.High Risk of Electrocution Deaths for New Jersey Shipyard Workers
Not only do plant employees and construction workers also face electrocution risks on a daily basis, but New Jersey’s port employees also face an even higher risk of electrocution-related fatalities due the close proximity of water to the working environment New Jersey’s large shipyard workforce faces these serious hazards on a regular basis.
As electrocution death benefit lawyers, our firm understands the potential for electrical shock is much greater for those workers employed in shipbuilding and maritime repair. Metal decking and near constant wet working conditions only serve to boost the risk for electric shock injuries and possible electrocution deaths among workers in the shipping industry.
It is the responsibility of shipyard employers to maintain safety standards for the good of their employees and to reduce the hazards and dangers posed by electrical systems on ships and at shore facilities. When working in a wet environment, such as a New Jersey port facility, even a minor accident involving electrical shock can result in a serious secondary accident such as a fall or drowning, which can easily be fatal for the victim.
Workplace hazards that can result in a fatal electrocution or subsequent death from an electrical-related secondary accident should be avoided whenever possible. The following is a partial list of potentially dangerous workplace conditions that could lead to an untimely death:
- Loose, frayed or damaged wiring on hand-held electric tools, extension cords, ship-to-shore power supply cables, portable lighting and permanent shipboard wiring
- Defective electrical connections in or near switchboards, electrical enclosures, electronics cabinets, power generators, breaker boxes and fuse panels
- Missing or loose protective guards on energized equipment and unprotected light bulbs, low-hanging power lines and poorly grounded electrical cables and equipment
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, D.C., approximately five percent of all fatal industrial accidents involve electrocutions. Although the frequency of electrical-related fatalities is relatively low on a percentage basis, the risks and potential for death as a result of an electrical shock is nonetheless serious enough to merit serious consideration by any employer.
When a New Jersey electrocution workplace accident results in the death of an employee, the victim’s surviving spouse and other family members should be entitled to death benefits based on New Jersey law. As experienced Garden State workers’ compensation claim attorneys, The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are of the opinion that worker’s compensation death benefits will not usually be forthcoming unless the survivors file a formal claim petition.
All New Jersey employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance (except for some companies covered by federal programs). Because workers’ comp insurance is a kind of “no fault” program, benefits will be provided regardless of who caused the accident that led to the victim’s death. However, our law firm has never heard of a situation where income replacement benefits were paid on behalf of a deceased worker without the survivor/claimant retaining a workers’ compensation claims attorney to prosecute the matter.
If you have lost a loved one as a result of a fatal on-the-job electrocution accident in Monmouth, Union, Essex, or any other New Jersey county or municipality, our death benefit claim lawyers can assist the surviving spouses and dependent children to recover benefits due them.
Please contact Mr. Santarsiero at (800) 999-0897 for a free consultation. Should you decide to retain our law firm following your initial consultation, we will work hard to represent you and your family on a contingent fee basis. No legal fees will be charged unless we make a recovery on your behalf. We can help to guide you through the claims process so that you can receive the compensation you are entitled to under the laws of the State of New Jersey.