OSHA fines Waukegan plant after explosion kills 4, including 3 from Kenosha Count

OSHA fines Waukegan plant after explosion kills 4, including 3 from Kenosha Count

Investigators continue to search for one missing person in the rubble of the former factory.

WAUKEGAN, Ill. — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined an Illinois plant following an explosion that killed four workers.

The Waukegan-based company, AB Specialty Silicones, is facing $1.59 million in fines for 12 federal safety violations after four employees were killed in an explosion on May 3, 2019. Three of the four killed were from Kenosha County.

OSHA investigators determined that “AB Specialty Silicones failed to ensure that electrical equipment and installations in the production area of the plant complied with OSHA electrical standards, and were approved for hazardous locations.”

The Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt said, “By ignoring safety and health requirements, this employer created an unsafe work environment with deadly consequences.”

Click here for the entire story from WTMJ-TV Milwaukee

Construction worker critically injured in electrical accident in Jacksonville

Jacksonville police say boom truck lifting traffic signal hit energized line

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A construction worker installing traffic signals Friday morning on North Kernan Boulevard in East Arlington was critically injured when a boom truck he was in hit a high power transmission line, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

The man operating the crane was doing electrical work for a subcontractor working on a Jacksonville Transportation Authority, tried to get off the truck but was shocked. Police said the victim was hospitalized in life-threatening condition.

Residents in the area heard what sounded like an explosion, smelled something burning and came outside to see what was happening.

“We got to the stop sign and there was a gentleman that had grabbed (the victim) and put him on the ground and started doing CPR,” Angela Ahern said. “(Paramedics) had to pull him away and when they did, he dropped to the ground and four guys got on the ground with him and held him. Every guy over there was crying.”

The JEA told News4Jax the utility has no record of a request from the subcontractor or the contractor, Superior Construction, to turn off power to the transmission lines in the area while the traffic lights were being installed.

According to the JTA, the man is an employee of James D. Hinson Electrical Contracting Co. Inc. The company told News4Jax it would not be making a comment.

JTA spokesman David Cawton II released a statement Friday afternoon:

“JTA’s main concern is the health and well-being of the subcontractor who was seriously injured today while working on the Kernan Blvd. improvement project, part of JTA’s MobiltyWorks program. We are fully cooperating with authorities as they investigate the cause of the accident.”

Police and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were on the scene, investigating.

Click here for the story from WJXT News4Jax

2 dead, 2 others critically injured after a string of electrocutions in a single day

CBC News reports, Multiple electrocution incidents in Ontario prompt Electrical Safety Authority warning

Ontario’s Electrical Safety Authority is pleading with people to stay safe around power lines after two people were killed by electrocution and two others were critically injured in a single day in Ontario.

A worker was electrocuted and killed in Vaughan on Sept. 19 when a drill boom on a truck made contact with overhead power lines.

The authority said in a news release that the injuries stem from three incidents where workers on job sites came into contact with overhead electrical wires.

“This was a cluster of events that we haven’t seen before, and we don’t understand at this point in time if this was just an aberration,” said Joel Moody, chief public safety officer with the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA).

“What we do know is that these instances happened, and unfortunately there were two deaths and two critical injuries … and ESA wants to extend our condolences to those families who were affected by these incidents.”

The provincial Ministry of Labour has confirmed that one of the deaths happened just before 9 p.m. Thursday, when a worker died in Vaughan.

“A worker sustained fatal injuries due to an electrical contact when [a] drill boom made contact with overhead power lines,” said spokesperson Charlene Millett in a statement.

She said the worker was employed by Pontil Drilling Services, which, according to the business’s website, does work ranging from geotechnical and environmental drilling to utility locating.

The company declined a request for comment.

The ministry says it has issued six requirements to the drilling company and its investigation is still ongoing.

A second person died on Sept. 19 at a private residence in Kawartha Lakes, near Peterborough. The ministry says two self-employed workers were trimming a hedge in an elevated work platform when it made contact with a power line.

One person died, while the other sustained critical injuries, Millett said. Two ministry inspectors went to the scene, but no orders were issued.

The third electrocution happened on the same day in Scarborough, when a worker was injured when a tower crane hit an overhead power line.

The ministry says the employer in that case was construction company Darcon Inc. The company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Our thoughts are with the family and colleagues of the workers who passed away,” Millett said. “Our investigation is ongoing.”

Minister of Labour Monte McNaughton said his “thoughts and prayers” are with the families and friends of the workers who died and were injured.

“Ministry officials are currently investigating these incidents,” McNaughton said in a statement. “We take them very seriously and are ensuring any concerns will be adequately addressed.”

According to the ESA, there are usually only two electrical deaths a year in Ontario on average, which makes two in a 24-hour period all the more unusual.

“Those two deaths are two deaths too many,” Moody said.

In the last 10 years, 19 people have died from electrocution in the province, he said.

All electrical incidents are preventable, he added.

The ESA recommends a number of tips when working around electrical wires, including watching for hidden power lines that can be hidden by foliage, being aware while driving dump trucks, and keeping equipment away from power lines.

 

Click here for the article directly from CBC News.

Site C Contractor Fined $662,102 by WorkSafeBC

WorkSafeBC fines Site C Contractor $662,102

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Peace River Hydro Partners, has been fined $662,102.48 by WorkSafeBC.

The fine was imposed on August 21, 2019, after a worker sustained an electrical shock injury. A worker was able to access the main circuit breaker in a high-voltage electrical cabinet for tunnelling equipment.

According to WorkSafeBC, the main electrical breaker extensions on the exterior cabinet door were not functioning, the de-energization switches had been circumvented and the main breaker switch-box isolation covers were in disrepair.

WorkSafeBC staff also determined that it was a standard work practice at this site to access the main circuit breaker without following lockout procedures.

A stop-use order was issued for the tunnelling equipment because Peace River Hydro Partners failed to ensure its equipment was capable of safely performing its functions, and was unable to provide its workers with the information, instruction, training, and supervision necessary to ensure their health and safety.

WorkSafeBC says these were both repeated violations.

This is the largest fine WorkSafeBC can issue under B.C. legislation.  The report from WorkSafeBC did not disclose the condition of the worker or the exact date of the incident.

Click here for this article from EnergeticCity.ca

West Virginia officials say a 40-year-old coal mine electrician has died in an accident.

West Virginia officials say a 40-year-old coal mine electrician has died in an accident.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia officials say a 40-year-old coal mine electrician has died in an accident.

The West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training says Steven Vernon Keeney of Sylvester died of injuries from an apparent electrical shock.

 The accident happened at 12:18 a.m. Tuesday at the Panther Creek Mining American Eagle Mine in the Kanawha County community of Cabin Creek. Keeney was a certified electrician at the mine.

The agency’s inspectors are investigating.

It is the third coal mining fatality in West Virginia this year and the 10th nationwide. The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration says four have occurred in Kentucky, two in Pennsylvania and one in Illinois.

Gov. Jim Justice said he and first lady Cathy Justice were sad to hear about the loss.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Click here for the article from US News.