Any job concerning physical labor comes with a lot of injury risk. Electricians are no different. Dealing with wires, electricity, ladders and heavy or dangerous tools almost ensure accidents will happen. Between 2003 and 2017, workers unable to work for a median of 10 days due to electrical injury. In 2017, there were 136 electrical fatalities. The construction industry accounted for 54% of all electrical fatalities in 2016.
If an employee does get injured on the job, it’s important that they receive the medical attention they need. That’s where workers’ compensation steps in.
What Does Workers Compensation Cover?
Workers compensation is in place primarily to assist the injured employee in recovery. It typically provides:
- Reimbursement to the employee for wages lost while they are unable to work. The amount of reimbursement an employee receives depends on their previous earnings. States may have different ways of calculating this amount.
- Medical expense coverage. Workers’ compensation assists in first aid and other medical expenses required for the electrician to get the correct medical treatment.
- Vocational rehabilitation. If an employee’s injury prevents them from continuing their current job, workers’ compensation can help pay educational expenses for the employee to train in a new field.
- Temporary disability benefits. If an injury prevents the employee from working for a short amount of time, workers’ compensation can pay for the lost wages as well as recovery expenses including medication and physical therapy.
- Permanent disability benefits. Workers’ compensation provides financial support for a longer amount of time to electricians who are unable to work in their field again after an injury.
- Death benefits. Death benefits include funeral expenses or death disbursements to an electrician’s family if the electrician passes away due to a work-related injury.
Businesses should make sure they have liability insurance as part of their business policy in case an employee decides to file a claim of negligence.
Do Electricians Need Workers Compensation Insurance?
States require employees to offer workers’ compensation for nearly every employee. Each state has a different mandate, however. Some states have a workers’ compensation fund while others require employers to purchase and fund workers’ compensation individually. An exception to a workers’ compensation requirement is if a construction company hires temporary independent contractors, which can include electricians. Without workers’ compensation, however, businesses open themselves up to possible bodily injury claims from workers hurt on the job.
What Injuries Does Workers Compensation Cover?
Injuries for electricians can be especially deadly. Possible injuries include:
- Electrical shocks or burns
- Injuries due to falls (from ladders, roofs, etc.)
- Strain or stress from operating tools or lifting heavy items
In 2017, laborers accounted for 64,410 workplace injuries and illnesses while construction laborers accounted for 22,830 workplace injuries and illnesses. That same year, there were 887 workplace deaths related to falls and 695 workplace deaths related to objects and equipment.
For employees, benefits from workers’ compensation are limited. Employees may instead choose to file a personal injury claim due to negligence, or their family may file for wrongful death damages if the employee dies on the job. This also applies to third parties, such as if faulty equipment causes employee injury or death.
Certain unions also offer additional insurance and protection. Electricians that are part of a union should discuss the benefits available to them through the union.
Who Pays for Workers Compensation?
Despite popular belief, employees do not purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Employers must invest in workers’ compensation insurance for certain employees. Some states have a statewide workers’ compensation fund to provide businesses with workers’ compensation coverage. Check with your state for more details.
Also Read: Understanding Completed-Operations Coverage