DYER, IN (May 20, 2019) – Emergency officials were attending to a 62-year-old contractor, Terry Mirkov from Crete, IL who was found dead on Sunday just before noon at Pop’s Italian Sausage and Beef on Joliet Street in Dyer, Indiana. It is believed the worker was electrocuted while fixing the business’ neon sign, although the coroner hasn’t confirmed that was the cause of death. The restaurant was closed for the remainder of the day on Sunday.
An autopsy is being performed to determine the cause of death. The investigation is on-going and anyone with information about the incident has been asked to contact the Dyer Police Department.
Common Electrical Hazards
The shock from a neon sign transformer can be lethal. The high voltage allows a large current to flow, even with a light touch against dry skin. These transformers also do not have the recently mandated GFI shut down circuitry, and their powerful current can cause a deadly electrocution hazard.Servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment can result in serious injury or death to workers if the conditions are not properly controlledMost electricians agree: This is NOT an area for someone who is unskilled in the basic principles of electricity and safety.
Energy sources including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other power line or live wire sources in machines and equipment can be very dangerous to workers. An unexpected startup or release of stored energy during the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment can result in serious injury or death to workers if the conditions are not properly controlled. Such injuries may include electrocution, burns, crushing, cutting, lacerating, amputating, or fracturing body parts, and others.
Service Workers Experience Increased Risk of Injury
Craft workers, electricians, machine operators, and laborers are among the millions of workers who service equipment routinely and face the greatest risk of injury.
A few examples include – a steam valve is automatically turned on burning workers who are repairing a downstream connection in the piping, a jammed conveyor system suddenly releases, crushing a worker who is trying to clear the jam, and an internal wiring on a piece of factory equipment electrically shorts, shocking the worker who is repairing the equipment.
Protections for Workplace Safety and Health Conditions
More than four decades ago, in 1970, Congress enacted the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act, promising workers in this country the right to a safe job. More than 579,000 workers now can say their lives have been saved since the passage of the OSH Act.Workplace safety and health conditions have improved, but too many workers remain at serious risk of injurySince that time, workplace safety and health conditions have improved, but too many workers remain at serious risk of injury, illness or death as chemical plant explosions, major fires, construction site collapses and other preventable workplace tragedies continue to occur. Workplace violence is also a growing threat, and many other workplace hazards kill and disable thousands of workers every day.
Are Employers Properly Providing for their Worker’s Safety?
Proper lockout/tagout (LOTO) practices and procedures safeguard workers from electrical hazards. OSHA’s Lockout/Tagout Fact Sheet describes the practices and procedures necessary to disable machinery or equipment to prevent hazardous energy release. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard for The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) (29 CFR 1910.147) for general industry outlines measures for controlling different types of hazardous energy.Employer’s responsibility to protect workers from hazardous energyThe LOTO standard establishes the employer’s responsibility to protect workers from hazardous energy. Employers are also required to train each worker to ensure that they know, understand, and are able to follow the applicable provisions of the hazardous energy control procedures. It is also an employer’s responsibility to retrain all employees to maintain proficiency or introduce new or changed control methods.
If Electrocuted: Legal Next Steps
Any time a victim is electrocuted, medical attention must be sought immediately. After that, there are various laws that can help a victim of electrocution or the victim’s family receive compensation. Such laws are:
- Negligence and Personal Injury laws
- Premises Liability laws
- Product Liability laws
- Worker’s Compensation laws
Contact our Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers
Survivors of electrocution can have a lengthy and painful road to recovery with overwhelming medical expenses, loss of wages, and/or permanent disability. Please contact Palermo Law Group at (630)684-2332 for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer regarding the best approach to obtaining compensation for worker electrocution injuries.