Rios Law Firm PLLC

Electrical worker suffers fatal workplace injuries

Working in electrical vaults poses all the usual confined space hazards along with multiple electrical risks. The Arizona Public Services Co launched an investigation after an electrician recently succumbed to fatal workplace injuries while working in such a confined space. A second worker suffered severe burn injuries in the same incident.

A spokesperson for the contractor says workers who enter underground vaults to do electrical work have to deal with high voltage hazards. Specific precautionary steps must be taken before workers may enter these spaces. The vaults could vary in size from only about four feet tall to those that allow workers to stand up while they work. Each vault is inspected by taking video footage of the inside to detect water accumulation and other potential hazards. Once the confined space is deemed safe, all power will be switched off before workers receive clearance to enter.

Electricians tasked with these jobs undergo intensive training. They also wear protective suits that are fireproof. What went wrong to cause the tragic incident on a recent Sunday evening while the two workers were busy with routine maintenance is still under investigation.

Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, the surviving family members of the deceased worker will likely be entitled to workers' compensation survivors' benefits. The compensation typically covers end-of-life expenses and wage replacement. The same will apply to the co-worker who survived workplace injuries. He or she can claim benefits to cover medical costs and lost wages, and an experienced Arizona workers' compensation attorney can help throughout ensuing proceedings.

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