Recently in West Dundee, a 21-year-old pest control worker suffered a serious electrical shock while using an aluminum pole in the course of his work. He was working outside an office building when the accident occurred. The shock was reportedly so bad that it left him without a pulse.
A police officer and a company supervisor had already begun administering CPR when the fire department arrived, at which point the police officer shocked the injured man with an automated external defibrillator, improving his condition.
After being taken to a hospital in Elgin, the young man reportedly became alert and was talking.
As we discussed in a recent post, electrical shocks are all too common in many workplaces. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that on average a worker dies every one to two days because of electrical shock.
In this case, ComEd is investigating the exact cause of the accident, but investigators said they believe the worker’s aluminum pole came into contact with a 7,200-volt transmission line.
The accident also raises questions of liability. In such cases, it may be necessary to determine whether the employer’s insurance or a third party’s insurance should cover the cost of the injured worker’s medical treatment and any lost wages resulting from the accident. With electrical shocks, it is also important to take into account any subsequent medical problems a worker may experience.
For more on workers’ compensation claims and dealing with insurance companies in the aftermath of an accident, please see Hannigan & Botha’s “What the Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know.”