Posted On: February 13, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Recent Electric Worker Accidents Highlight Dangers that Come with the Job

An electric crew worker died on Tuesday when the pole he was working on broke. Andrew Reichwein died from his injuries. The 35-year-old electric worker was helping restore power in Kentucky following last month’s deadly ice storm. Reichwein plunged some 40 feet and was struck by a transformer located on top of the pole.

In an unrelated accident involving another electric worker, 61-year-old Ernie Russell was killed after he was electrocuted during a work accident. Russell was a senior electrical supervisor employed by Ashton Construction. According to a company spokesperson, Russell appears to have been putting up a light post when it struck power lines. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the cause of the deadly work accident.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:
• Electrocution is a leading cause of construction worker deaths.
• From 2003 – 2005, 121 electrocutions happened each year.
• Earth drillers, electrical power installers, and repairers appear to be among the workers at most risk of dying from electrocution.
• Electrical power installers, supervisors, managers, repairers, construction laborers, and electricians are the construction occupations that seem to have the highest average for electrocution fatalities.
• Types of electrical workers: Supervisors, electricians, apprentices, helpers, electrical installers, and electrical repairers
• Main cause of electrocution for electrical workers: contact with live wiring and energized equipment.
• Other causes of electrocution injuries include live light fixtures and the failure to deenergize and tag or lock out electrical equipment and circuits.
• Electrical injuries may include electrical burns, electric shock, arc blast effects, heat burns, and falls after suffering from electric shock.

As an injured Chicago electrical worker, you are entitled to Illinois workers' compensation benefits if you sustained an electrocution-related injury on the job. If your loved one died in a Chicago work accident, you are likely entitled to workers' compensation death benefits.

Andover man dies while helping restore power in Kentucky, ABC Newspapers, February 12, 2009

Ashton employee ID'd in electrocution, Arizona Daily Star, February 12, 2009

Deaths from Contact with Electricity, eLCOSH, December 2007

Related Web Resources:
Occupational Safety & Health Administration

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

Contact our Chicago workers' compensation law firm today.

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