Arc Flash Incident: OSHA fines company for “avoidable” hazards

May 6, 2015

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.

 

 

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