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 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
CAL/OSHA investigating circumstances leading to death of a Santa Rosa Water Worker at California Wastewater Treatment Plant
The employee was electrocuted and died Wednesday afternoon while working on a piece of equipment that was still energized.
The city refused to identify the employee while withholding other details about the death, saying the workplace fatality was being investigated. The Sonoma County Coroner’s Office had not released the victim’s name as of Thursday night.
The city followed up with their own call to state regulators about the fatality shortly after paramedics and police arrived at the scene, she added.
Cal/OSHA was told that thee employee had been doing work on an energized subpanel at the site before electrocuted, Cal/OSHA spokesman Lucas Brown said.
Click here for the original news brief in The Press Democrat