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Power is everywhere in the modern world, and installations exist wherever we work, live or play. While that equals electricity at our finger tips at all times, it also means people are injured and killed in electrocution accidents — the majority of which are construction and utility workers.
According to the CDC’s NIOSH, the construction industry comprises approximately 8% of the U.S. workforce, yet it accounts for 44% of job-related fatalities. Consider the statistics:
The construction industry represents 52% of all occupational electrocutions, according to the recent CDC study referenced above. Below are some statistics on the heavy equipment in the trades and related electrocution accidents:
It’s estimated that 62 agricultural workers/yr. die from electrocution in the U.S., with overhead power lines being the most common source.
And each year, many children and adults are electrocuted or seriously injured in this country due to accidental contact with floating phases, downed power lines or objects such as green wood or fences in contact with downed wires.
The vast majority of these tragic events are preventable, if utility companies use the best available preventive maintenance, inspection, and repair practices that are required by law. They must also attend to hazards resulting from aging infrastructure and components, maintain proper tree trim scheduling cycles and promptly respond to storm damage and direct and indirect knowledge of floating and downed wires.