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
A 62-year-old man was electrocuted Saturday morning while trying to remove a backhoe that got stuck in some electrical wires in Fermont, a town on the North Shore near the border with Labrador.
The backhoe slid down a slope on Highway 389, coming to a stop near the wires, according to the Sûreté du Québec.
The man was in the process of retrieving the backhoe when an electrical arc formed from the wires and electrocuted him.
He collapsed in the snow and was pronounced dead after being transported to hospital.
Employees from Hydro-Québec and Transports Québec arrived to secure the area.
Click here for the article from the Montreal Gazette
OSHA cites solar contractor almost $40,000 after fatal electrocution of one of their workers
The agency said Wednesday that it cited Power Factor LLC for four serious violations after the employee, who has not been identified, died July 24, 3018, while installing solar panels at the base. In their findings, the agency says the employee was hoisting a metal rail that came into contact with overhead power lines.
OSHA cited the company for allowing employees to work too closely to electrical power circuits without de-energizing and grounding the circuits, or guarding the circuits using insulation or other means. Officials also said the company didn’t regularly inspect the job site or train workers to recognize and avoid hazards.
“This tragedy could have been prevented if the employer had complied with electrical standards that require maintaining a safe distance from unprotected energized power lines, training employees, and providing personal protective equipment,” said OSHA Wichita Area Director Ryan Hodge.
Click here to read more directly from the OSHA news release