Electrical burns can cause serious injury, and may result in substantial time off work. If it happens on-the-job, you may be entitled to compensation.
The Echo Park Patch reported recently two workers were seriously injured while working in an electrical vault. An electrical vault is an underground room or chamber, typically made of metal or concrete, that provides access to subterranean electrical conduits. They are in major cities that have underground utilities that are used by workers who need to access the grid. There are also vaults for access to gas and water or sewage pipes in most major cities. While they are supposed to be safe, there are many workplace accidents that occur in these utility vaults.
This particular accident occurred when the workers came in contact with electrical equipment that was charged with current, according to authorities. The current discharged from the equipment into the two workers and caused them to suffer a critical personal injury. Others on the scene immediately called for help and could get them out of the vault. However, they had to be extremely careful, as there was still the possibility of an electrical discharge. This incident caused a partial blackout in the neighborhood surrounding the site of the on-the-job accident.These two workers were lifted out of the underground electrical vault and rushed to a level-one trauma center. In addition to the serious injury than can be caused by an electrical shock, they also suffered what has been described as serious electrical burns. They are both listed as being in critical condition, but their identities and the extent of their respective injuries have not been released.
As our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys have seen in various cases over the years, electrical burns can be among the most painful and serious types of injuries suffered by workers while on the job. An electrical burn can easily damage all layers of skin, as well as muscle and other tissue. These are classified as third degree burns. If the burn damages bone, which can easily happen with such a large electrical current, doctors would consider this as a fourth degree burn. This is the most serious degree of burn injury.
Another thing to keep in mind is that burns will often leave permanent scarring. Under the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA), if a worker is left with permanent scars on certain parts of his or her body, such as the face, hands, head or neck, he or she will be entitled to a special compensation. This money is paid in a single lump sum award and does not affect the amount of money paid in a workers’ compensation monthly benefit. It is calculated based upon the state average weekly wage (SAWW) at the time and then a multiplier is applied depending on the circumstances. There are also other types of special compensation awarded if a worker suffers a total or partial amputation or the loss of vision. Loss of vision can be from loss of the eye itself or just lost of sight. If a worker loses vision in both eyes, the special compensation amount will be greater.
If you are the victim of Massachusetts product liability, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
DWP Workers Critically Injured In Electrical Vault Near Echo Park, May 8, 2017, By Paige Austin, Echo Park Patch
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