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Construction worker shocked, burned by power line

A construction worker was taken to a Missouri hospital to recover after being shocked by a power line. The man was in serious condition after suffering cardiac arrest from the electric shock. An accident of this severity could lead to workers' compensation benefits becoming necessary.

This construction accident took place across the state line in Arkansas. According to news reports, the victim was part of a crew working on the construction of a new apartment building near a university. On Jan. 3, he was using a long metal handle trowel while on top of the building. Somehow, the pole on the trowel came into contact with a power line.

A burst of electricity went through the construction worker’s body, causing his heart to stop. He also suffered a burn where the electricity exited his body.

Emergency responders used a defibrillator to restart the victim’s heart. They rushed him to a local hospital, but the man was later transferred to a burn center in Springfield, Missouri. He was in serious condition as of the day of the accident. His current condition is not known.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating this incident. The proximity of a live power line to the construction site could be part of the investigation. Was the victim supposed to be protected from the line in a way that was not done, or done improperly?

No matter the cause of the work accident, we hope that this man is able to make a full recovery. However, it could be a long time before he is able to return to work.

Source: KFSM-TV, “OSHA Investigating Fayetteville Construction Injury,” Larry Henry, Jan. 8, 2014

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