Testimonials

OSHA News Release: Contractor cited after finding employer bypassed safety measures that led to worker’s fatal electrocution

OSHA News Release – Region 4

US Department of Labor cites Tavares contractor after finding employer willfully bypassed safety measures that led to worker’s fatal electrocution
United Signs & Signals Inc. failed to ensure electricity was secured

TAVARES, FL – In the early afternoon of March 2, 2021, a 44-year-old electrical technician at an Orlando work site climbed down into a trench to splice electrical wires to power streetlights. Not long after, the worker made contact with live wires and suffered fatal electrocution, a death the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators deemed avoidable had the employer taken required safety measures.

OSHA’s investigation led the agency to cite United Signs & Signals Inc. – operating as US&S – with two willful violations for exposing workers to electrical-shock hazards by failing to de-energize or guard circuits and exposing workers to cave-in hazards by neglecting to ensure the use of protective measures to safeguard employees. OSHA also cited US&S with two serious violations for not ensuring workers had a safe means to exit excavations and allowing employees to work in a trench with accumulated water.

OSHA proposed $237,566 in penalties.

“A man is dead because of US&S’s willful indifference toward protecting its workers,” said OSHA Area Office Director Michelle Gonzalez in Jacksonville, Florida. “This terrible loss should remind employers that safety measures are never optional, and the consequences for ignoring them can be fatal.”

Click here to read more from this OSHA News Release

 

Electrical burst kills Amtrak worker in the Bronx, article from NY Daily News

An electrical explosion killed an Amtrak worker in a Bronx power substation Thursday morning, officials said.

The explosion erupted about 11:30 a.m. in Con Ed’s Van Nest Yard, which the company shares with Amtrak, on Unionport Road near White Plains Road in Parkchester.

The Amtrak worker was electrocuted, according to police. Two other people suffered minor injuries, officials said.

Authorities cut the power and were on scene investigating.

Ron Seabrook, 76, who’s lived near yard for 30 years, said the workers should have been better protected from harm.

“Something had to be exposed for him touch something or do something for him to lose his life,” he said. “It makes me feel bad for that individual, whoever it was. I’m quite sure they felt they were safe.”

Click here for the full article from NY Daily News

Employer Deemed Responsible for Electrical Worker’s Death   

Employer Deemed Responsible for Electrical Worker’s Death   

Queensland, Australia electrical worker, Danny George Cheney, was electrocuted on December 5, 2009. His coworker, Macquin Parungao, sustained four electrical shocks while attempting to save him. The coroner had found that Cheney’s employer was to blame for his death, as he was not equipped with the proper tools to safely perform the tasks he was given. He was also found to lack the proper training for his new job position that he had been promoted to, which resulted in him not following the Activity Method Statement (AMS). If he had been given the proper training and equipment, his death may have been avoided.

Last week, coroner Kevin Priestly found the tragedy occurred because Mr Cheney’s employer, John Holland, had not adequately trained him in a new role he had recently accepted.

A month before the incident, Mr Cheney had been promoted and moved to a new project.

The coroner found while “a number of factors” likely contributed to the death, the workers did not have the correct equipment with them when the accident happened, and that Mr Cheney had not followed the Activity Method Statement (AMS) — a plan designed to ensure safety on worksites.

However, the coroner ruled mistakes made by Mr Cheney were caused by a lack of adequate training relating to his new position.

“Mr Cheney deviated from the requirement in the AMS, likely due to a number of operational factors but most importantly because of a gap in his knowledge about the difference between earthing and bonding, and the circumstances in which each is applied,” he wrote.

“Mr Cheney was exposed to different practises and procedures during his work with John Holland but had received no formal training on those matters. He had no formal qualifications that covered those matters.

“Mr Cheney adopted what he thought was an alternative method of earthing, without adequate safety equipment and in an apparent desire to get the job done. The conductors were not effectively earthed and Mr Cheney was electrocuted.”

Click here for the full story.