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Georgia Work Accident Kills Experienced Power Line Employee

A work accident in Georgia left one Georgia Power Company employee dead after he was electrocuted while working on a line at a job site that was just east of Brookfield, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The accident reportedly occurred earlier this month on U.S. 82.

The accident happened as the Georgia Power Company was attempting to restore power after weather conditions took down a power line, according to Steve Wood, the Tift County Coroner.
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Our Georgia workers’ compensation attorneys would like to point out that the man who was fatally injured had been working as a lineman for more than 20 years. He was employed with Georgia Power for nearly four of those 20 years. We point this out because it shows that no kind of experience and/or training can completely prevent serious work accidents. It is only with the precautionary safety measures that we can all make an attempt to prevent these serious accidents.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, over the last 10 years, electrical injury has resulted in an average of roughly 320 deaths each year in the United States. These incidents have also been credited for causing roughly 4,000 injuries that have required days away from work. Electrical injury is the second leading cause of death in the construction industry. These accidents consistently make up between 5 and 6 percent of all work deaths. More specifically, of the injuries that are caused by contact with overhead power lines, roughly 26 to 60 percent of the cases resulted in more than 30 days out of work. Only 18 to 20 percent of all other occupational injuries and illnesses require that much time away from work.

Injuries that result from electrical work can be extremely costly, not only for the worker but for their families as well. Dr. Ronald Wyzga of the Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, California, conducted a study that concluded that electrical injuries are among the costliest for employers, in both direct and indirect costs.

Common power line and electrical myths busted:

-If birds can stand on the power lines, then they must be safe for me to touch: False.
The reason why birds aren’t electrocuted when they land on a power line is because they do not represent a path to the ground. Electricity is only looking for a way to get to the ground. When a bird is sitting on a wire, it does not give the electricity anywhere to go.

-Because power lines are insulated, then they must be okay to touch: False.
Power line are insulated, but they’re only insulated enough to prevent problems from tree contact.

-If my ladder isn’t metal, then it’s okay to rest on the power line: False.
Electricity is always looking for a conductor and metal is an excellent candidate for a conductor! Don’t forget that water is also an excellent conductor, so no matter what your ladder may be made of, if it is wet then it can be a hazard.

-I have to dig a few inches into the ground. I shouldn’t worry about power lines: False.
You’ve got to take into account when the lines were buried, if the ground shifted and whether or not you could accidentally dig deeper than intended.

If you have experienced a serious injury at work in the Atlanta area and want to discuss your rights, contact the experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys at J. Franklin Burns. Call 404-303-7770 to make a free appointment to discuss your claim.

More Blog Entries:

Company Pays Employee Nearly $200,000 after Failing to Protect Worker from Georgia Work Injury, Georgia Workers Compensation Attorney Blog, July 28, 2011

Company Receives 18 Violations for Failing to Protect Employees from Georgia Work Accidents, Georgia Workers Compensation Attorney Blog, July 8, 2011