According to a report from ABC 30, a man was killed on the job in a tragic workplace accident in Fresno County. He was electrocuted while working near utility lines on a raised platform. Here, our Fresno workers’ compensation attorneyexplains what we know about this case and discusses the risks associated with workplace electrocutions.
A worker was fatally electrocuted in Fresno County when a boom lift he was unloading from a truck hit live wires. A boom lift on a truck is effectively a mobile crane. The incident occurred near Manning Avenue in Parlier, California, around 9 am. Power had to be shut off by PG&E before anyone could approach the scene. The deceased’s identity has not yet been disclosed. No other injuries were reported. The matter is still under a comprehensive investigation.
Electrocutions are a Serious Workplace Hazard
Electrocutions are a grave workplace hazard. Electricity presents a considerable risk—even the potential to cause catastrophic or fatal harm to employees. High-risk industries for electrocutions include construction, manufacturing, and utilities. Electrical accidents not only have direct impacts like severe burns, heart failure, and even death, but they also often lead to secondary incidents such as falls from height due to shock, which can cause further injuries or fatalities. There are numerous contributing factors to electrocutions in the workplace:
- Lack of Proper Employee Training: Insufficient training can lead to workers not fully understanding the risks associated with working near electrical sources. Regular, comprehensive training is vital to ensure workers are knowledgeable about safe work practices around electricity.
- Inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Not wearing suitable PPE, like insulated gloves and footwear, can increase the risk of electrical injuries.
- Improper use of Equipment: Using equipment not rated for electrical work, or using it improperly, can lead to accidents. For instance, metallic ladders used near overhead wires can cause electrocution.
- Failure to De-energize and Lockout/Tagout: Neglecting to power down electrical equipment before maintenance and repair can result in serious injury.
- Poor Workplace Safety Standards and Practices: Inadequate maintenance of electrical systems, lack of proper electrical installations, and poor wiring can create hazardous situations.
- Contact with Overhead Power Lines: Workers in industries such as construction and agriculture, where large equipment is used, are often at risk of making contact with overhead power lines.
Addressing these issues necessitates a comprehensive, ongoing commitment to safety from employers and employees alike. Employers in Fresno and throughout California must always ensure strict adherence to safety standards, provide adequate PPE, and continuously train employees in safety procedures.
Joseph C. Yrulegui is an experienced workers’ compensation attorney with a passion for client service. We help injured workers and their families get true justice. If you have any questions about a workers’ comp case, please do not hesitate to contact us today for your initial appointment.