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Electrocutions on construction sites are often preventable

Electrocutions are the third most common reason for construction worker deaths — accounting for 10 percent of them. Many are the result of live wires around and above construction sites. As with most on-the-job injuries and fatalities, they’re often preventable with training, planning and proper equipment.

The federal government has regulations to help prevent electrocutions on construction sites. These include requiring that wires be checked to ensure they’re properly grounded. Overhead power lines also have to be checked. These can be particularly dangerous to workers on cranes.

Construction sites need to have safety protocols in place when crane operators are near these live overhead lines. A path needs to be planned for the crane so that it doesn’t touch any wires as it moves. Signal workers also need to help watch out to ensure that the crane doesn’t come in contact with the lines and to communicate with the person in the crane’s cab. Other crew members need to refrain from touching cranes when they’re in the vicinity of power lines.

If workers believe that a situation is potentially dangerous for themselves or anyone else, they need to tell someone who’s managing the site. Those in charge then have an obligation to take steps to prevent an accident.

If you or a loved one has been injured or worse on a construction site, it’s crucial to determine whether it could and should have been prevented and who bears responsibility. Safety investigators will look into the cause of the accident. However, an experienced construction accident attorney can work to protect your rights and seek the compensation to which you and your family are entitled.