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Contract workers face electrocution risks in construction

Florida construction workers may be worried about their safety on the job, especially if they work as contractors rather than employees of the construction firm leading the project. This is particularly true for workers dealing with electricity. One study by the National Fire Protection Association found that 13 percent of all deaths by electrocution were suffered by contract workers. Contract workers are employed by another firm but brought in to participate in a project as subcontractors, or they operate as self-employed independent contractors. Contract workers have always been a part of the construction industry, but their employment in this area has become more common in recent years.

The study found that 8 percent of all contract workers killed in workplace accidents lost their lives to electrocution. Of them, 68 percent were involved in the construction or extraction injuries. Thirty percent of these deaths took place on a construction site, but construction workers were also injured elsewhere. Construction trade workers comprised 57 percent of the fatalities with electricians at 31 percent, construction laborers at 11 percent and roofers and supervisors each at 5 percent.

The study also found that 42 percent of the workers were killed by direct exposure to more than 220 volts of electricity while 37 percent lost their lives due to indirect exposure to high voltage. Many are concerned that contract workers could face particular risks as they may receive less training or safety protections than regular employees. Contractors may also be more commonly used for projects running behind schedule, pressuring workers to operate more quickly and potentially cut corners.

Workplace injuries can be devastating and even deadly, particularly for construction employees. People who have been injured on the job might consult with a workers' compensation lawyer to learn about how they can protect their rights and seek compensation for their damages.

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