Electricians install and repair wiring, electrical fixtures, industrial machinery and lighting systems in houses and businesses. They identify problems and repair or replace broken equipment such as faulty wiring, electrical circuits, breaker boxes, motors and control systems. Working with electrical current, electricians and electrical installers are exposed to serious workplace injury risks, including electric shock, electrical burns, falls, and electrocution.
If you have been injured while employed as an electrician or electrician’s apprentice in South Carolina, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Most businesses in South Carolina are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to pay for medical care, rehabilitation and lost wages partially for employees harmed on the job.
When filing a workers’ comp claim for electrician injuries, it’s best to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. If you’ve been hurt in an on-the-job accident or have become ill due to workplace conditions, the attorneys at Joye Law Firm are ready to assist you.
For more than 50 years, we’ve assisted injured workers who are struggling after a serious injury accident and who are having difficulty obtaining workers’ compensation benefits. Our knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorneys will do everything in our power to help you access all the workers’ compensation benefits available by law.
Common Injuries of Electricians in South Carolina
Working with electricity poses a risk. Contact with a live wire can cause electrical current to move through the body. On-the-job injuries for electricians include shocks, electrical burns, broken bones and more. Electricians and electrical helpers are frequently exposed to hazards. Even the most experienced electricians who take safety precautions may sustain one or more work-related injuries during their career.
These are the most common electrician injuries we see:
- Electrical Burns: Electricians may suffer burns due to direct contact with electrical current or from exposure to arc blasts. Arc blast explosions can create temperatures as high as 36,000 degrees, causing severe or even fatal burns within seconds. Even with treatment, burns can lead to secondary complications, such as infection or scarring. The severity of the injury depends on the amount of electrical current and the duration of exposure. If an electrician is exposed to too much electrical current, they can suffer fatal injuries due to electrocution. If your loved one was electrocuted on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits including payment of funeral and burial expenses.
- Fractures and Broken Bones: Electricians often work on elevated platforms, such as on top of buildings, on ladders, and other locations where they need to work on wiring or electrical fixtures. A misstep can cause an electrician to fall and sustain serious injuries, such as broken bones. A fall-related injury may be secondary to a shock. For instance, if a worker is exposed to an electrical current, the jolt may cause the electrician to fall.
- Lacerations and Shrapnel Injuries: Electricians may suffer from lacerations and shrapnel-type injuries as well as shock injuries during an arc blast or electrical explosion. These injuries can be severe or fatal.
- Hearing Loss and Tinnitus: If an electrical explosion occurs and a worker is in close proximity, the noise of the blast can cause serious injury. Workers exposed to arc blasts and electrical explosions may suffer from hearing loss or tinnitus, which is a constant ringing in the ears.
- Electric Shock: Electricians often sustain electric shock injuries to their hands, since they use hand tools and power tools to work with wiring and electrical fixtures. Electric shock injuries may cause permanent damage, such as tingling sensations, and muscle weakness. Electric shocks sometimes cause a condition called compartment syndrome. This occurs when limbs swell due to muscle damage, which may compress vital arteries and lead to more serious health issues.
- Severe Strains and Soft Tissue Damage: The majority of workplace injuries that electricians sustain involve shocks and burns. However, electricians are also at risk of harm caused by overexertion and repetitive movements. They often work in awkward positions and may sustain soft tissue injuries or repetitive stress injuries, requiring time off work or surgery and physical rehabilitation.
- Mesothelioma: Electricians may be exposed to asbestos when working on older buildings that have asbestos-wrapped wiring or insulation containing asbestos. Exposure to asbestos can lead to serious respiratory diseases including mesothelioma, a form of cancer caused by inhaling fine asbestos particles. Mesothelioma may develop in the lining of the lungs or the abdomen. All types of mesothelioma require chemotherapy and sometimes surgery.