New York City continues to enjoy a period where construction work is booming. Despite the positive economic news that comes with that fact, there is always an increase of construction injuries at the same time. At the height of the increased work activities, employers and other responsible entities must keep a lookout for dangerous conditions at construction sites.
One kind of construction injury more prevalent during the hot weather months is injury from exposure to high-voltage electrical sources. Recently, a Manhattan construction worker who was working on the roof of a landmarked 29-story office building near E. 32d St. was zapped with a life-threatening jolt of high-voltage electricity. He is fighting for his life at Bellevue Hospital Center in extremely critical condition.
There are currently no details on how the accident occurred. Many workers have been injured seriously by exposure to live electrical wires not properly secured by their owner. At times in the city, a gust of wind or a series of gusts on a particularly windy day will cause some electrical wires to dangle or swing through the air untethered.
It is also currently unknown what kind of work the man was performing on building's roof. In any event, the injuries were caused by a work-related accident, and generally, the worker is entitled to collect workers' compensation benefits. These benefits will include payment of all medical expenses and compensation for partial lost wages during periods of disability from work.
There will undoubtedly be an investigation by federal and state authorities stationed in New York City. Protocols are established for agencies to step into an investigatory mode quickly after serious construction injuries. It is important also that the family of a seriously injured worker take steps to assure that the proper workers' compensation paper work is filed with the employer to prevent inconvenience in the processing of benefits. In the event that there was negligence by a third-party entity that caused the electrical danger to manifest, the worker may also have a third-party tort claim in which he can collect damages over and above the benefits provided by workers' compensation.
Source: nydailynews.com, "High-voltage shock leaves Manhattan construction worker in extremely critical condition", Thomas Tracy, July 18, 2017