Notes from OSHA Regional News Brief – Region 4
OSHA cites Georgia Power, wiring subcontractor after arc flash severely burns worker at the Plant Bowen facility; proposes $122K in fines
Employers failed to power down cabinet before electrician began work
U.S. Department of Labor OSHA inspectors opened an investigation on Oct. 27, 2015, after learning an electric arc flash injured a worker at Georgia Power’s Plant Bowen generating facility. When the arc flash occurred, a 48-year-old electrician was working on an electrical cabinet that was still powered. The ABB Inc. employee suffered second and third-degree burns to his hands, arms and torso.
Georgia Power received two repeated, five serious and two other-than-serious safety citations. The repeated violations relate to the employer failing to ensure the electrical cabinet was not powered down before allowing work to begin and not developing specific steps to power down machinery and prevent starting up during maintenance and servicing. Apparently, Georgia Power was previously cited for similar violations at this facility in 2014.
The company’s serious violations relate to its failure to:
- Ensure proper grounding of electrical equipment.
- Inform other employers of their electrical lockout program.
- Provide adequate procedures for electrical energy isolation.
ABB Inc. was issued two serious citations. The serious violations relate to the employer’s failure to coordinate with other employers on the specific requirements of removing power from equipment before maintenance and servicing and exposing workers to electrical hazards.
Quote: “Every day, employees place their trust in their employers to keep them safe while they work, unfortunately Georgia Power and ABB failed to ensure the cabinet was properly de-energized before allowing the electrician to begin working. This incident was totally preventable if his employers simply followed OSHA standards,” said Christi Griffin, OSHA’s director of the Atlanta-West Office.
Click here to read the actual news brief from OSHA
OSHA Regional News Release – Region 4
Worker electrocuted because his employer did not ensure safety procedures were followed
A preventable incident, OSHA report reveals
REDDICK, Fla. – Electrician’s apprentice was testing and repairing electrical transformers at a substation in Reddick when he was electrocuted by more than 10,000 volts. He was a 36-year-old husband and was a person who lived to make others happy.
On Oct. 15, 2014, he used a circuit testing technique that bypassed safety protocols designed to protect workers from electrical currents. He contacted an energized circuit and later died from injuries he sustained. The company knew workers bypassed safety protocols to conduct testing, but it did not enforce safety standards. Due to this practice, the company has a history of nonfatal shock injuries.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspected the utility company after learning of workers injury. OSHA found the company responsible for one willful and five serious safety violations. Proposed penalties total $90,000.
“[The Company] is aware of the fatal hazards that [the worker] and other workers are exposed to, but failed to implement control measures its safety team developed to protect employees,” said the director of OSHA’s Jacksonville Area Office. “This tragedy could have been prevented had management not delayed in making the workplace safe.”
To read more from this News Release from April 17th, 2015, click here.
OSHA Regional News Release – Region 2
Lack of protective equipment for electrician results in 1st and 3rd degree burns after arc flash. Steel manufacturer faces $147K in fines for “avoidable” hazards
According to OSHA, an electric technician at a steel manufacturing plant was removing wiring from a fan motor in an overhead crane, when an ungrounded electrical conductor touched a grounded surface causing an arc flash. The electric technician sustained third degree burns on her hand and first degree burns on her face.
An investigation by the [local] Office of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that [the company] failed to provide and ensure the use of effective face and hand protection by its employees.
“These injuries were avoidable. [The company] has a responsibility to make sure that its electric technicians are properly trained, equipped with and using personal protective equipment to protect from arc flash. In this case, that would include a face shield and rubber insulating gloves…”
As a result of these conditions, OSHA cited the company for two repeat violations, with proposed penalties of $70,000 each for the lack of hand and face protection. The steel manufacturer was also cited for one serious violation, with a $7,000 fine, for failing to protect employees against contact with energized electrical equipment. Total proposed penalties are $147,000
To read more from the OSHA news release from May 4th, 2015, click here.