Electric Power Injuries at Work

Workers in the electric power industry may be exposed to several significant hazards, such as electric shock, arc flashes, falls, and thermal burns that can cause severe injury and even death. If you’ve been injured on the job, contact New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney Dan Matrafajlo for advice about your particular situation.

The 269 Standard. OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.269 (the “269” standard) sets forth requirements to ensure that qualified employees are knowledgeable in the construction, operation, and maintenance of electric power generation, transmission, or distribution equipment, along with the associated hazards.

Electric Shock. Because electric power work poses a serious electric shock hazard for workers, the “269” standard contains additional requirements for CPR and first aid beyond the general requirements. The requirements apply when a person is exposed to 50 volts or more, which is the recognized level that may cause cardiac arrest or ventricular fibrillation.

Overhead Line Work. Overhead line work can create hazards. Important safety precautions include:

  • Poles and towers must be structurally capable of withstanding the stresses that may be imposed when installing and removing equipment.
  • Before anyone climbs a pole, it must be checked to ensure that it is safe to climb. One method is to “sound” the pole by striking it with a hammer to check for insect damage or decay.

If you are injured, a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help you get the benefits you deserve. However, you can try to prevent injury in the first place by using the following safety tips.

Grounds. Grounds protect workers if lines and equipment that were correctly de-energized become energized. Ground connections may be used to create equipotential conditions and provide protection by eliminating potentially hazardous voltage differences.

Personal Protective Equipment. Depending on the job, electrical workers often wear safety glasses, face shields, hard hats, safety shoes, insulating (rubber) gloves with leather protectors, insulating sleeves, and flame-resistant clothing.

Insulating Protective Equipment. This includes items such as:

  • Insulating (rubber) line hose, blankets, and hoods.
  • Insulating barriers made of fiberglass or phenolic resin.
  • Live-line tools such as hotsticks, switchsticks, and shotgun sticks.

Underground Enclosed Spaces. These are manholes and vaults that contain operating transmission and distribution equipment. When a worker is in an underground enclosed space, an attendant trained in first aid, CPR, and rescue procedures is required to be above the hole and maintain communication with the worker below.

If you’ve been injured on the job, New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney Dan Matrafajlo may be able to help. Please call (908) 248-4404 for a case evaluation.