Electrocution Accidents and Ice Bucket Challenge: Done Wrong for Doing Right

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The Ice Bucket Challenge is sweeping the nation, and it stands to do a lot of good. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are flowing into ALS charities, and there is hope that this additional funding can finally provide treatments or even a cure for the devastating condition. Newscasters are doing it on live television, and people are posting their own videos on Youtube and Facebook.

For those not in the know, the challenge involves having a large bucket of ice water dumped on you. If you don’t undertake the challenge, you have to donate money to the charity. If you do, you can then challenge your friends to see if they’re brave enough to endure an ice bath.

But even when you’re doing great things for all the right reasons, it’s still important to be safe, as firefighters in Hartford recently learned. The firefighters had volunteered the use of one of their trucks to help a local marching band do a large-scale Ice Bucket Challenge. When the truck ladder got close to a power line, large quantities of electricity jolted two of the men, leading to hospitalization and massive burns.

The power of electricity is often under-appreciated, because so many of us only encounter it in its safest forms. It is difficult to injure yourself too badly with a household socket. But certain jobs carry much higher risks of injury than others because they require working with or near high voltage lines. These jobs include:

  • Working for the power company, especially line installers and repairers
  • Working at a power plant
  • Commercial and residential electricians
  • Factory work where large amounts of power are consumed
  • First responders

If you or someone you love has been involved in an electrical accident at work or any other type of workplace injury, it is important that you are aware of your rights. Many companies will try to provide you with only the most modest of compensation, and will pressure you to sign away as many of your workman’s compensation rights as possible. Before you let the same company that was responsible for your injury deprive you of your rights, contact a qualified attorney to make sure those rights are protected.