The end of the summer is a flurry of activity as parents and students prepare for a new school season. On the other side of the equation is the school which is also preparing for hundreds of students to step through the front doors. Part of that preparation includes making sure the property is in good condition which sometimes includes fixing electrical issues.
Unfortunately, that work can be dangerous and at the end of August, one school district started the year with a horrible accident that claimed the life of a contractor.
Electrician Dies In High School
On August 30th, 2017, a few days before students were set to return to school, an electrician was hired to do routine work on a district improvement plan. He started early in the morning but sadly, his day didn’t last long. At around 7:30 in the morning he was involved in an accident which claimed his life.
He was going about his job when a part of his skin came into contact with a live electrical current and he was electrocuted. He leaves behind three children and his wife.
The Dangers Of Working With Electricity
While most people are aware of the fact that electricity flows easily through water, they don’t remember that the human body is about 70% water. This means that if the body comes into contact with an electrical current, electrocution occurs.
Injuries That Can Occur During Electrocution
Depending on the voltage, current, frequency, and resistance, the injuries sustained during electrocution can be severe and life-threatening. This includes:
1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th-degree burns are all possible and not just on the skin. The electrical current passes through the entire body and so burns can happen internally, damaging vital organs. Burns are not only painful but they often come with a high risk of infection which can be just as dangerous for the patient.
Disruption Of The Heartbeat
When an electrical current travels through the heart, it can disrupt the heartbeat causing the heart to stop. If CPR isn’t administered or if a defibrillator isn’t used, the heart won’t restart on its own.
OSHA Is Working To Make Workplaces Safer
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration has announced that they will be investigating the accident to determine what exactly claimed this electrician’s life.
This is normal – every time that a worker dies, OSHA investigates. At the end of their investigation, which can take up to six months to complete, they will release a report. They may also require new safety measures to be put into place, fine the party who was responsible, or even suggest that criminal charges be filed.
However, aside from understanding the accident a little better, none of this helps the loved ones that have been left behind.
Workers’ Comp & Wrongful Death Lawsuits
The loved ones of the deceased may be able to obtain monetary compensation for the loss of their family member. Possible legal avenues to consider include a:
Workers’ Compensation Claim
Nearly all employers in New York are required by law to have a workers’ compensation insurance policy which will help to pay for any medical expenses if a worker is injured. In cases where the worker is killed by their on the job injury, payments based off of the worker’s salary may be available for their loved ones.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
If the worker had survived, they may have been eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit if another party caused their accident. “Other parties” may include a contractor, subcontractor, the school, or even the manufacturer of the electrical system that was being worked on. However, when a worker passes away, their family can pursue legal action against the same negligent party. This may provide them with loss of income, loss of consortium, loss of inheritance, and funeral and burial expenses.