Utility Workers Face Many Hazards on the Job
Utility workers include those who aid in the provision of electric power, natural gas, steam supply, water supply, and sewage removal. They each face the overarching hazards of the industry, as well hazards that are specific to their jobs.
Pennsylvania utility workers who are injured on the job may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits such as payment for medical expenses associated with the injury and disability. The Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. help injured utility workers throughout the state collect the maximum benefits to which they are entitled.
Obtaining Benefits in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, most employees, including utility workers, are covered by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act). The Act was designed to provide relief to injured workers and their families for work-related injuries and illnesses, regardless of who was at fault. To remain eligible for compensation, injured employees must notify their employers of their injuries within 120 days. It is advisable to give the notice in writing and to include pertinent details such as when, where, and how the accident occurred and what injuries were sustained.
Utility workers may also be able to collect damages from third parties who were responsible for their injury. Generally, workers may not sue their employers personally for workplace injuries. However, they may sue non-employer third parties who caused or contributed to their injury – such as manufacturers, contractors, vendors, or property owners – in order to collect additional compensation for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering.
Appealing a Denied Claim
Although an employee may ultimately be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, his or her employer may choose to initially deny the claim for various reasons, including insufficient information, suspected fraud, or non-compliance with the 120-day time limit. If your claim was denied, a skilled Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. can help you file an appeal.
Utility Workers and Construction Site Hazards
Utility workers are often present at construction sites, which pose their own additional hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that the construction industry is one of the most dangerous in the country, accounting for over 20 percent of annual worker fatalities in the private industry. Utility workers may suffer various injuries as a result of construction accidents, including:
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries
- Fall injuries
- Overexertion injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
Common Causes of Utility Worker Injuries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 554.9 million workers in the utilities sector as of January 2019. These courageous workers are at risk of sustaining various injuries due to the dangerous nature of the job. Some of the most common utility worker injuries our Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers have seen include:
- Electric Shock/Electrocution – Utility workers often work with electricity and therefore may suffer electric shock, electrocution, or burns from fires or explosions. Employers must comply with the applicable OSHA electrical safety standards to assist in the prevention of such injuries.
- Slips, Trips, and Falls – These are the most common types of workplace accidents, according to OSHA. Uneven floors, exposed wires, and poor lighting are just some of the causes of workplace slip, trip, and fall accidents.
- Toxic Exposure – Utility workers may become exposed to hazardous substances in the workplace such as dust, fumes, and chemicals.
- Repetitive Stress Injuries – Day-to-day activities such as bending, lifting heavy objects, and maintaining awkward positions over time can lead to repetitive stress injuries such as bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and rotator cuff syndrome.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Utility Workers Collect Benefits for Work-Related Injuries
If you were injured on the job, contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Our experienced attorneys proudly represent electrical linemen and other utility workers in Philadelphia and throughout the state. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW.
We are proud to represent all types of workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.