If you work construction in Ohio, you likely spend your days working around or with electrical equipment and tools. Unfortunately, this puts you at great risk for suffering a fatal or nonfatal electrocution injury.

If you are familiar with the “Fatal Four” list put out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the causes from which construction workers die, you know that they fall into the following order:

  1. Falls
  2. Electrocutions
  3. Struck-by accidents
  4. Caught-in-between accidents

This means that as a construction worker, your risk of suffering a fatal on-the-job electrocution ranks second only to your risk of suffering a fatal fall.

Electrocution causes

It may surprise you to learn that while it takes only 50-100 milliamperes to kill you, most 120-volt currents carry 15-20 amperes. This represents 15,000 times more electricity than necessary to result in a fatal accident. In addition, construction sites are notorious for the many kinds of electrocution risks that exist in and around them, including the following:

  • Insufficiently grounded or ungrounded electrical wires
  • Frayed or otherwise damaged electrical cords
  • Electrical tools and equipment that are faulty
  • Overhead electrical wires that are prone to coming into contact with cranes, ladders, lifts, etc.
  • Construction sites that are poorly lighted, both indoors and outdoors

Electrocution statistics

Electrocutions account for 61% of all fatal injuries that construction workers sustain. Most of these deaths, 28.3% of them, happen to men between the ages of 35 and 44.

The most frequent type of electrical accident that could result in your death is one where you somehow come into contact with such things as an overhead power line, a converter or a transformer. Fully 75% of construction site electrocutions result from this type of on-the-job accident.

You need not be an electrician or other electrical worker to risk electrocution. While electricians account for 19% of the on-the-job construction electrocution fatalities, laborers account for far more of them, 25%.