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OSHA NEWS RELEASE: US Department of Labor cites Savannah space remediation company after 32-year-old lead repair technician suffers fatal electrocution

OSHA News Release – Region 4

US Department of Labor cites Savannah space remediation company after 32-year-old lead repair technician suffers fatal electrocution
East Coast Crawl LLC failed to have power lines deenergized before work began

SAVANNAH, GA – A federal workplace safety investigation into how an employee suffered a fatal electrocution while digging a shallow drainage trench under a home has found that a Savannah crawl space remediation company might have prevented the incident by following required safety standards.

U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators determined the 32-year-old lead repair technician employed by East Coast Crawl LLC – operating as Crawlspace Medic of Savannah – came into contact with an electrical line on April 18, 2022, as they installed a drain to remove accumulating water.

OSHA cited the company for not making sure to deenergize electrical lines before allowing employees to work and dig within the danger zone, which exposed workers to electrical shock hazards. East Coast Crawl also failed to train employees to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions, did not provide personal protective equipment for working in a confined space, and failed to identify all permit-required confined spaces. OSHA has proposed $31,284 in penalties.

“Working in confined spaces presents hazards that can be fatal if they go unrecognized and are not appropriately mitigated,” explained OSHA Acting Area Director Jerred Stevens in Savannah, Georgia. “Employers have a legal responsibility to provide and ensure their employees have a safe workplace, but East Coast Crawl failed to follow federal safety requirements, and this worker’s family, friends and co-workers are left to grieve.”

In 2020, hazardous exposure to electricity claimed the lives of 126 workers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

East Coast Crawl LLC, a Crawlspace Medic LLC franchise, operates 24 locations across the U.S.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Click here to read more from this OSHA News Release

Multiple workers suffer electrical burns after Arc Flash incident in Honolulu

HONOLULU (KITV4) – Three workers with Hawaiian Electric (HECO) suffered electrical burn injuries following an incident in the area of Pensacola Street and Kamaile Street, Tuesday morning.

According to a HECO spokesperson, the men were working on an underground power line when an “arc flash” occurred, injuring the workers.

An arc flash is a phenomenon where a flashover of electric current leaves its intended path and travels through the air from one conductor to another, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

“An arc flash, is similar to like, lightning, as far as the intensity of what happens,” licensed electrician Steve Ricci explained.

“It will create a super heated situation that atomizes the copper, or the conductor, whatever the material is made out of, and that actually is an explosion.”

Honolulu Emergency Medical Services (EMS) reported that the men suffered second and third-degree burns in the incident. HECO tells KITV4 two of the men were taken from the scene to Straub Medical Center to be treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The third victim, according to HECO, was treated at the scene and did not need to be taken to the hospital.

The cause of the arc flash has not yet been determined.

The victims have not been identified by name, but EMS did say the victims were all men – ages 34, 36, and 56.

Honolulu Police officers shut down (HPD) Kamaile Street, between Pensacola Street and Piikoi Street, as the incident was investigated.

HECO sent KITV-4 the following statement:

“Hawaiian Electric is investigating the cause of an arc flash that injured three of our workers on a job site today. Fortunately, none of the employees suffered life-threatening injuries and we wish them a speedy and complete recovery. We spend a considerable amount time and effort at Hawaiian Electric to ensure the safety of our workers and the community and we will look closely at what caused this incident to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

According to HECO, all three of the injured employees have been released from the hospital.

Video of an arc flash in our newscasts were provided courtesy of Electrical Power & Safety Company.

 

Click here for the article directly from KITV 4

 

Worker killed in accidental electrocution at construction site

Worker killed in accidental electrocution at construction site

An industrial accident claimed the life of a construction worker on University Drive Wednesday afternoon.

The man was working with crews inside of the original Burlington Coat Factory in the University Place Shopping Center, according to Don Webster, with HEMSI.

 Robert Philyaw, was 41 years old, and he was accidentally electrocuted while he was working on the electricity at the construction site, a spokesperson from the Huntsville Police Department confirmed.

Philyaw was employed by H.C. Blake Co. Inc. OSHA is investigating this incident.

 

Click here for the full story from WAFF

 

Arc Flash Events at Amazon Warehouses – Solar Panels had to be taken Offline

Arc Flash Events at Amazon Warehouses – Solar Panels had to be taken Offline

On the afternoon of April 14, 2020, dozens of firefighters arrived at an Amazon warehouse in Fresno, California, as thick plumes of smoke poured from the roof of the 880,000-square-foot warehouse.

Some 220 solar panels and other equipment at the facility, known as FAT1, were damaged by the three-alarm fire, which was caused by “an undetermined electrical event within the solar system mounted on top of the roof,” Leland Wilding, Fresno’s fire investigator, wrote in an incident report.

A little over a year later, about 60 firefighters were called to an even larger Amazon facility in Perryville, Maryland, to put out a two-alarm blaze, local news outlets reported

In the intervening months, at least four other Amazon fulfillment centers caught fire or experienced electrical explosions due to failures with their solar energy-generating systems, according to internal company documents viewed by CNBC.

The documents, which have never been made public, indicate that between April 2020 and June 2021, Amazon experienced “critical fire or arc flash events” in at least six of its 47 North American sites with solar installations, affecting 12.7% of such facilities. Arc flashes are a kind of electrical explosion.

“The rate of dangerous incidents is unacceptable, and above industry averages,” an Amazon employee wrote in one of the internal reports.

By June of last year, all of Amazon’s U.S. operations with solar had to be taken offline temporarily, internal documents show. The company had to ensure its systems were designed, installed and maintained properly before “re-energizing” any of them.

Amazon spokesperson Erika Howard told CNBC in a statement that the incidents involved systems run by partners, and that the company responded by voluntarily turning off its solar-powered roofs.

“Out of an abundance of caution, following a small number of isolated incidents with onsite solar systems owned and operated by third parties, Amazon proactively powered off our onsite solar installations in North America, and took immediate steps to re-inspect each installation by a leading solar technical expert firm,” the statement said.

 

Click here for the full article from CNBC

Worker for Keene electric company electrocuted at wastewater treatment plant

Worker for Keene electric company electrocuted at wastewater treatment plant

An investigation is underway after a worker died when they were electrocuted during an accident at the Keene wastewater treatment plant.

The victim’s identity has not been released as of yet. Keene Mayor George Hansel called Wednesday a difficult day for the city. “I just want to first express my heartfelt sympathy to the family members of the person who passed,” Hansel said.

The person who died is an employee of Hamblet Electric. Hansel said they were working as a sub-contractor on a backup generator replacement project at the wastewater treatment plant located on Airport Road in Swanzey.

The incident happened just before 8 a.m. Wednesday. CPR and an AED were used to help the victim, but those efforts were unsuccessful. Monadnock family services also responded to the scene with the state’s mobile crisis response team to provide support services.

“This morning and in the coming days and weeks, we are going to make sure that mental health support is available to not only our team at the plant, but also our emergency responders, our contractors, anyone involved in this incident,” said Elizabeth Dragon, Keene city manager.

“We’re committed to finding out what’s happening here and insuring that it never happens again,” Hansel said. OSHA is working to determine exactly how the accident happened.

Officials said the Hamblet employee has been working on city projects for a few years and has formed relationships amongst city staff over time.

“Keene is a city, but we’re a close-knit community,” Hansel said. “I know I speak for many in this community expressing my sympathy to the family, friends and coworkers of the individual who passed away.”

 

Click here for the full article from WMUR

          

Electrical fire reported at MSG Sphere project in Las Vegas

Electrical fire reported at MSG Sphere project on Las Vegas Strip

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Clark County Fire Department responded to an electrical fire at the MSG Sphere construction project on the Las Vegas Strip Tuesday afternoon.

The fire was first reported by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police at 1:56 p.m. Aug. 16. CCFD said an LVMPD air unit spotting a smoldering fire on top of the MSG Sphere, which is currently under construction at Sands Avenue and Koval Lane.

The first firefighters on scene saw smoke at the top of the MSG Sphere. When they made contact with construction workers, they weren’t aware of the fire.

Four crews were sent to investigate, CCFD said, and it was found to be an electrical fire. Power was isolated in that area and the fire was extinguished.

No injuries were reported. It’s unknown was caused the fire or the estimated damage to the project.

Repost from Fox 5 Vegas, click here for the original article