An electrical contractor lost his life in a tragic incident at the Janaf Shopping Yard in Norfolk, Virginia. Reports indicate that the contractor was working on the new Tesla charging station at the shopping center in the 5900 block of E. Virginia Beach Blvd, according to Pilot Online.
"During the installation process at our new supercharger station in Norfolk, there was an accident involving an electrical contractor," a Tesla spokesman wrote in an email Tuesday, according to the aforementioned Pilot article. "The Norfolk Police Department is on the scene and investigating." Electrocution deaths and injuries on the job aren't as uncommon as you think.
The contractor was reportedly discovered by a co-worker inside a fenced area with power equipment. Dominion Virginia Power stated that the victim was not working for the company, which may mean he was a private contractor and/or affiliated with Tesla.
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Our deepest condolences go out to the worker’s family and friends. Losing a loved one is never easy, but it is especially heartbreaking when the loss is sudden and completely unexpected. Imagine, in the blink of an eye, this worker’s life came to an end and now his family will be left to pick up the pieces.
Electrocution is the fifth leading cause of occupational injury death in the United States, according to BMJ.com. Studies have shown the highest proportion of electrocution deaths occurred among electricians, electrical helpers, utility workers, and those employed in the construction and manufacturing industries. It appears the worker at Janaf Shopping Yard may have fallen into one of these categories.
This tragic incident raises concerns about the safety of these Tesla charging stations. Electric vehicles and the necessary stations to re-charge them are part of a new era of innovation in the automobile industry. However, safety for both workers and the general public must be taken into consideration. We cannot have people getting electrocuted to death, or suffering debilitating electric shock injuries, at these charging stations.
The U.S. government anticipates 1.7 million charging devices to be up and running across the country by 2017, according to propertycasualty360.com. To date, not a single state, including Virginia, requires periodic safety inspections. Because these devices are easily accessible, some may choose to bypass standard safety procedures. Currently, there are no consequences for improperly installed charging stations.
Our law firm has handled electric shock cases and the injuries can be devastating for the victim. For example, we team of electric shock injury lawyers represented a pilot who suffered a career-ending electric shock injury while he was taking a shower in a hotel. He suffered a serious electric shock that, essentially, froze him in the shower when he was shocked by the light in the shower. The injuries he suffered were extensive and forced him to retire from his career as a pilot. Our team understood the severity of this incident and secured a $1.5 million settlement for our client.
To learn more about electric shock injuries, visit this page.