Electrical accidents can be serious; every year, some 1,000 people die in them. Over half of the accidents involve a voltage of less than 600 volts, and experts say that even 50 volts can prove fatal in certain situations. Perhaps you were injured by electricity while on the job in California. If you were following the three safety tips given below, then your chances of obtaining the maximum in workers’ compensation benefits may be high.
Not becoming part of the circuit
The first safety tip is to avoid becoming part of the circuit, such as by using ground cables and by placing insulating material between yourself and any energized equipment. There are special rubber gloves and sleeve protectors that can do this. Not all rubber materials will insulate because some contain carbon, which conducts electricity.
Power tool cords may have exposed wires and other issues, so always inspect for these. The tools should be linked to a ground-fault circuit interrupter, which helps protect workers in case of a faulty circuit.
Lockout and tagout procedures and emergency actions
The second tip involves what OSHA calls lockout and tagout procedures, which are meant to prevent de-energized circuits from re-energizing. Lockout refers to locking the area in a machine that controls energy while tagout means placing a tag on that machine to indicate that it’s de-energized.
Employees need to know what to do in case of emergencies. If someone is being electrocuted, turn off power to the circuit in question, and if this cannot happen immediately, push or pull the victim away using an insulated material like dry wood or dry rope. If there’s an electrical fire, a non-conducting extinguishing agent like carbon dioxide must be used until the electrical equipment is shut off.
What injured workers may do with an attorney
You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, but know that the other side could deny your case, necessitating an appeal. With an attorney by your side, you may be able to navigate these procedures more smoothly and have more time to focus on your physical recovery. It all starts with an attorney’s case evaluation.