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
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Emergency crews were called to the Southcentre Mall around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday for an incident near the north entrance.
According to the Calvary CTV News, a man was killed after being electrocuted while working in an electrical room. EMS arrived to find the victim unresponsive, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
“We are saddened that an employee of a contractor was injured and subsequently died while working at our property,” a spokesperson for Southcentre Mall said in a statement to CTV.
“Everyone who works at Southcentre is a part of a committed community and our staff are deeply impacted by what occurred. Our thoughts are with the individual’s family.”
OSHA is investigating the incident.
Click here to read the entire article
OSHA National News Release
US Department of Labor cites Foundation Food Group Inc. for exposing workers to safety hazards, proposes $154K in penalties
March 11 ammonia leak happened 42 days after January incident killed 6 workers
GAINESVILLE, GA – On Jan. 28, 2021, an uncontrolled release of liquid nitrogen at a Gainesville poultry processing facility claimed the lives of six workers. Less than two months later, workers were again subjected to a chemical release at the plant, after an ammonia leak on March 11.
A U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation identified 23 safety and health violations at the facility. OSHA cited Foundation Food Group Inc. for exposing workers to dermal and respiratory hazards associated with the potential unexpected release of anhydrous ammonia and for failing to install a system that protected employees.
In addition, OSHA found Foundation Food Group failed to:
- Guard horizontal shafts on conveyors, which exposed workers to caught-in hazards.
- Provide adequate training and ensure workers used locks to isolate hazardous energy while servicing conveyors.
- Label electrical breakers, cover unused openings in electrical boxes, and use electrical devices as designed, which exposed workers to electrical-shock hazards.
- Provide fall protection while working from equipment at heights over 4 feet.
- Require employees use eye protection while working with compressed air.
- Provide adequate hearing protection, testing, and training for employees exposed to high levels of noise.
- Maintain drainage in areas of wet processes, exposing employees to slip hazards.
The agency proposed $154,674 in penalties.
“There is no situation where employees should be expected to risk serious injury or death, especially on the heels of a tragic incident that took the lives of six co-workers,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Jim Frederick. “Foundation Food Group has again flouted their responsibility to assess workplace hazards and ensure measures are taken to protect employees. This is unacceptable and OSHA will continue its mission to hold employers accountable.”
Click here to read more from this OSHA News Release
A construction worker died from electrocution on Monday morning in South Jordan, Utah.
Witnesses say they saw “flashes” while hearing an “explosion” at the same time, said South Jordan Police Sgt. Eric Hill.
Paramedics were called, but the man, who was identified as 50-year-old Shaun Robertson, died on scene before they arrived.
“It is extremely unfortunate that he was here working and doing his job, and had an unfortunate accident,” Hill said.
It was believed Robertson was part of a crew installing underground lines, he said. What exactly caused him to be electrocuted was not immediately known Monday.
For more on this incident: KSL.com Article, or Deseret News Article
Houston Plant, Harris, TX – November 2020
MINE FATALITY- On November 23, 2020, a miner was electrocuted while troubleshooting a disconnect box for the classifier drive motor. The victim had the electrical disconnect box open and the main power supply was not deenergized.
“Best Practices” provided from MSHA:
Ensure electrical circuit components are properly designed and installed by qualified electrical personnel.
Ensure electrical troubleshooting and work are performed bypeople with proper electrical qualifications. Positively identify thecircuit on which work will be conducted.
Before performing electrical work, locate the visual disconnectaway from an enclosure and open it, lock it, and tag it, to ensureall electrical components in the enclosure are de-energized. Verify by testing for voltage using properly rated test equipment.
Wear properly rated and well maintained personal protective equipment, including arc flash protection such as a hood, gloves, shirt and pants.
Train miners on safe work practices for electrical equipment and circuits.
Click here for the full report from the United States Department of Labor