The Risks and Dangers Facing Utility Workers
I’m Brian Ricci, an attorney representing utility workers across all North Carolina. In the course of our busy lives, we often fail to acknowledge the work that others do to provide the conveniences that we enjoy. Utility workers are among the unsung heroes of modern life, and their daily toil is what allows us to enjoy brightly lit homes and workspaces, comfortable temperatures and the benefits of a seemingly endless array of appliances, tools and entertainment systems. Those jobs are often difficult, technically challenging and inherently dangerous. For those who make their living in the utility industry in and around Pitt County, occupational injuries are an ever-present daily risk.
Why is Utility Work So Dangerous?
There are several factors that combine to make these occupations more dangerous than many others. Utility workers are often working around high voltage electricity, and with or near heavy equipment. They may be doing their jobs in extreme temperatures, and are often fighting fatigue. In many cases, their jobs are conducted in less-than-optimal scenarios, such as when a power outage has taken place or in an effort to restore service during or after a significant weather event. Their workplace setting is constantly changing, and they need to adapt to those changes while performing a wide range of tasks and adhering to established safety guidelines. These and other factors contribute to a dynamic and risk-laden work environment that can lead to a number of different injuries.
Common Injuries That Utility Workers Face
There are innumerable workplace injuries that utility workers can encounter, but some are certainly more common than others. Electrocution is almost always a danger, as is internal bleeding or organ damage that follows an accident involving heavy equipment. Some utility workers are at risk of heat exhaustion or hypothermia, and must take care to avoid excessive exposure to heat or cold. Others work high in the air, where the risk of falls is a daily reality. One of the most common types of workplace injuries that any utility worker faces involves repetitive motion stress, which can lead to chronic problems in the muscles and joints of the body.
Utility Workers Should Know Their Rights
In many cases, the men and women who make the lights come on are built of tough stock. They have crafted a career out of dealing with stressful and unpredictable workplace scenarios. Those skills may serve them well in the field, but can act as a hindrance when it comes to workers' rights. Employers have an obligation to ensure a safe working environment for their employees, and the utility industry is no different. While the job itself may be inherently dangerous, employers are expected to provide adequate training, safety equipment and worksite standards that create the safest possible space for utility workers to do their jobs. When an employer fails to meet those obligations, workers in Greenville, NC and across the nation have the right to pursue legal action. Standing up for one's rights is never a sign of weakness, it is a statement of strength, and an act of allegiance with all other workers who provide such an invaluable yet often overlooked service.
Greenville, NC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
I’m Brian Ricci, a workers’ compensation lawyer in Greenville, NC. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury at work, please call me at please call me at (252) 752-7785 or (888) 484-6881 for free, friendly advice.
I am a longtime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Founder of the leading personal injury website: http://www.riccilawnc.com/personal-injury/