Long Island Tree Trimmer Electrocuted
On Sunday, June 17th, 39-year-old Oscar Diaz, of Brentwood, Long Island, was electrocuted after coming in contact with PSEG power lines. Mr. Diaz, a tree trimmer, encountered the wires as he serviced a tree on Roberta Lane in Commack, and succumbed to the injuries he sustained. He was pronounced dead on the scene. Oscar Diaz was employed by GA Island Landscaping Corps.
Among the authorities and professionals who arrived at the scene were: physician assistants from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner, detectives from the Suffolk County Police Homicide Squad, representatives from the PSEG, and members of the Commack Fire Department.
Electrocution Safety Tips
According to OSHA, there are two major ways in which you can protect against electrocution injury: guarding and grounding.
What is guarding?
Guarding is a straightforward, fairly self-explanatory method of electrocution prevention. Recognizing potentially electrified material is the first step. (Generally speaking, anything operating at 50 volts or higher should be handled only by professionals qualified in working with electrified material.) Fencing off, or isolating within a room, material that qualifies as electrified is key. For additional safety, clearly visible, easily understandable signage should be posted all around the danger area. Watchwords and phrases such as CAUTION, SAFETY HAZARD and, of course, DANGER should be liberally employed.
It must be made clear that only authorized personnel are allowed in these restricted, or “guarded,” areas.
What is grounding?
Tools or electrical systems can be “grounded” by creating a low-resistance path through which unsafe electricity can flow into the earth, which will help prevent the buildup of voltages known to cause hazardous electrocutions.
Typically, grounding is used as an ancillary protective measure to guarding. Better to keep vulnerable parties away from electricity altogether than to try re-directing voltage after one comes in contact with dangerous amounts of it. However, when work needs to be done or repairs need to be made, interaction with electrical systems cannot be sidestepped. Grounding is not a 100% guaranteed measure against electric shock, but it’s been proven to dramatically limit the likelihood of electricity-caused injury when utilized correctly.
When working on or around electrified equipment or other circuitry, make sure your safety equipment is in proper working order, is comfortable and suitably-sized, and worn according to design. When inspecting or repairing electrical machinery, disable power to the equipment first, and then proceed.
If someone has been electrocuted, a great first step in preventing further harm is to disable power to the affected area. If you are not able to do this, it’s of supreme importance that you remain vigilant. Try to cover / insulate the area with non-conductive mats, or remove yourself from the situation and call for help. Professionals will know best what attire and what steps to take when it comes to resuscitating an electrocuted person safely.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Work?
What follows is a rough overview of how workers’ compensation works in New York State:
Workers’ compensation can provide workers who have been injured or have become ill as a direct result of working their job with cash compensation and/or complimentary medical care. In exchange for a settlement which decrees that no one party is at fault, an employer will pay for this compensation, and will not require the injured or afflicted party to contribute to the payment of this compensation. Workers who were proven to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of their injury are generally disqualified from seeking workers’ compensation. If an insurance carrier or judge deems the injury in question to be indirectly-caused or unrelated to work, the worker in question will likely be unable to obtain compensation.
As always, there are many mitigating factors for determining the allocation and extent of workers’ compensation payments. Sometimes, when workers are able to return to work on a limited or part-time basis, they may continue to receive supplementary compensation. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we can help you maximize the benefits you receive.
Kaplan Lawyers PC
Have you, or has someone you know, been injured at work? At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we understand the twofold devastation of workplace injuries. Not only do injuries prevent you from working, and earning valuable wages, but as you miss time, you’re likely to be simultaneously racking up expensive medical bills. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we believe that you deserve to be supported in your time of need. As you focus on recovery, our experienced and compassionate team of attorneys will focus on winning you the compensation you deserve. This compensation will help cover your medical bills and provide for you and your family while you heal. If you’re unsure about whether or not you’ve got a claim, contact Kaplan Lawyers PC today. Our consultations are a free and easy way to begin learning about your rights.