A Shocking Fact About Construction Electrocutions

More than 250 construction workers were electrocuted between 2012 and 2016. That’s 250 too many.

OSHA ranks it one of its “Fatal Four Hazards”, and it doesn’t just happen on big construction sites. In July 2018, a worker was electrocuted by a live wire inside a residential building in the Village near Washington Square.

Every employer is required by law to take very specific obligations and precautions to keep workers safe when working around potential electrical hazards, to help keep workers safe around construction, repair, excavation or demolition areas.

Employer Precautions Required by New York Labor Code § 23-1.13

Employers must:

  • Determine voltage levels before work begins.

  • Properly investigate and warn of electrical voltages (power circuits, line locations, and other possible hazards) that may pose a danger.

  • Prohibit all workers from working in areas where electric power circuits exist; without providing them with proper safety equipment.

  • Guard any open switches or circuit interrupting devices if the circuits must be de-energized.

  • Notify the electric utility company within five (5) working days prior to beginning any project if its location is within 10 feet of any live overhead power lines.


  • If any portable electric power generators are on the construction site, its electrical output must be grounded.

  • If the employer finds wiring with cracked or deteriorating insulation, it must be removed immediately.

How to Stay Safe on a Construction Site

Some of the common dangers all workers should be alert for (and notify their employer if they see any of them) include the following:

  1. Don’t begin work on any “hot” electrical circuits until all power is shut off and electrical grounds are attached.

  2. Make sure an effective Lockout/Tag out system is in place.

  3. Immediately replace any frayed, damaged or worn electrical cords or cables.

  4. Make sure all extension cords have grounding prongs.

  5. Protect all flexible cords and cables must be protected damage. Make sure ykou avoid Sharp corners and projections should be avoided.

  6. When using portable electric tools, make sure to use three-wire(grounded) extension cords, ones designed for hard or extra-hard service. Look for cords with S, ST, SO, STO on their casings.

  7. Check all electrical tools and equipment for cracks, missing protective parts or other defects and switch them out for safer tools if a defect is found.

  8. Don’t ever bypass any system or device designed to protect you from contact with electricity, no matter what voltage.

  9. Located and identify all overhead or nearby power lines.

  10. Keep ladders, scaffolds, equipment or materials at least 10 feet away from power lines.

  11. Make sure all electrical tools are properly grounded, unless they are double insulated.

  12. Never, never use “octopus” multiple plug adapters.

Whether you or a family member was injured due to a construction accident, commercial vehicle accident, or truck accident, you may be entitled to full benefits and compensation. Know your rights and get the answers you deserve. The attorneys at Kalra Law Firm are dedicated to getting car accident victims the compensation they deserve. Call our office now to speak with one of our experienced car accident lawyers to represent you in your case. We offer a free initial consultation and will not charge unless we win your case. Call our New York City and Queens car accident lawyers today at (718) 897-2211 or visit us at www.unionlawyer.com.

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© 2017 by Michael Chuda