Some of the on-the-job risks electricians face include explosions and electrical fires, and, worst of all, electrocution. Even if the electrician survives, he or she could have permanent cardiac repercussions, or burns to internal tissues. There’s also the risk of receiving a minor shock that’s startling enough to encourage a fall off a ladder or cherry picker. Shocks may result in muscle spasms, nausea, vomiting and heart palpitations. Sometimes electricians work on elevated power lines or in confined spaces, which present additional risks.
Because of the dangerous nature of electrical work, and the many things that can go wrong, electricians also face lawsuits. In 2013, two Houston electricians were charged with criminally negligent homicide when a man was electrocuted in a hotel pool. The cause? A short in the pool light the electricians had worked on. Apparently, the electricians failed to install a ground fault circuit interrupter, which would have prevented the death. The man’s family also filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against the electric company that contracted with the hotel.
Property damage also leads to lawsuits. In 2009, two laborers were sued in Galveston for improperly installing a loft rental building’s electrical system – which resulted in a fire that gutted the building. Plaintiffs demanded both monetary compensation and a jury trial.
As one can imagine, lawsuits can be heart-rending and disastrous. And they’re even worse for those who are under-insured.