OSHA Cites Contractor after Employees Suffer Burns from an Arc Flash

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Tennessee Contractor
After Two Employees Burned at Nuclear Power Plant

SODDY DAISY, TN – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Day & Zimmerman NPS Inc. for exposing employees to electric shock hazards at the Tennessee Valley Authority Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee. The company faces $71,599 in proposed penalties.

Two employees pulling electrical cable suffered burns from an arc flash. OSHA cited the Chattanooga-based company for failing to require that employees wear protective clothing and equipment; conduct pre-job briefings with employees on energy source controls; removal of a ground and test device; and allow potential for residual electrical energy to accumulate.

“These serious injuries could have been prevented if the company had implemented effective work practices to reduce the risk of electric shock hazards,” said OSHA Nashville Area Office Director William Cochran.

Click here for more information and to read the news release directly from the U.S. Department of Labor

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Ohio Recycling Company for Safety Violations

News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Ohio Recycling Company for Safety Violations

COLUMBUS, OH – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Sewing Collection Inc. – a coat hanger recycling company – for serious and repeat safety violations. The Columbus, Ohio-based company faces proposed penalties totaling $190,247.

An inspection in April 2018 found that the company exposed employees to fall, machine guarding, and electrical hazards; failed to train forklift operators; and did not have proper emergency exit signage.

“Employers have a responsibility to conduct workplace hazard assessments regularly to determine appropriate measures at protecting workers’ safety and health,” said OSHA Columbus Area Office Director Larry Johnson. “This company’s failure to comply with federal safety requirements needlessly exposed employees to workplace injuries.”

Click here for more information and to read the news release directly from OSHA

Empire State Mine resumes underground mining operations

Empire State Mine resumes underground mining operations after a hoist malfunction on Friday, that was caused by an “electrical problem”.

140 workers were unable to go back underground in the mine because of an accident that happened Friday, when an elevator taking workers down into the mine abruptly stopped and injured 9 workers. 

Mine officials say the elevator stopped because the braking system malfunctioned. 

Two of the injured miners are recovering at home. Mine officials say one has a dislocated knee; the other a broken ankle.

Below is the full news release from Empire State Mine:

Underground mining operations have resumed at the Empire State Mine following a hoist incident that occurred on July 27, 2018. During routine transportation of personnel underground, the braking system on the personnel conveyance (“cage”) unexpectedly engaged causing it to stop abruptly. The braking system then released, causing the cage to resume its travel downwards at normal speed at which time the hoist operator pushed the emergency stop button, bringing the cage to a controlled stop before returning the personnel to the surface.

Of the 30 contractors travelling in the cage, nine had injuries ranging from sprains and strains to a fracture, and were treated at local hospitals. Seven of the contractors were released immediately. The remaining contractors, one of whom had a dislocated knee and the other a fractured ankle, are at home recovering. Mine management has been in regular contact with the individuals affected by the incident, and their families, to provide support.

The incident was investigated by the company, third party hoist engineering experts, and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (“MSHA”). The cause of the incident was electrical in nature, and immediate corrective actions have been taken. Additional safeguards, including backup power supply, are being implemented to prevent recurrence.

The operation of the hoist has been approved by MSHA and underground operations resumed late yesterday.

The safety and well-being of our people is our top priority as we ramp up production at the Empire State Mine,” stated Keith Boyle, Chief Operating Officer. 

Click here for the article directly from WWNY

Contractor suffered severe electrical burns in accident

NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Fire crews are on scene at a North Haven business after a person suffered severe electrical burns in an accident on Wednesday morning.

The fire department says that emergency crews are on scene at Ulbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals, Inc. at 55 Defco Park Road to treat an outdoor contractor with severe electrical burns following an accident within the building. 

The victim, who has not yet been identified, was taken to the Bridgeport Burn Center for treatment. Their current condition is unknown. 

Multiple agencies are on scene investigating the incident. United Illuminating is also on the scene to cut power off to the building and provide safety. 

There is no word on the nature of the accident at this time.

News 8 has a crew on the way to the scene. Check back for more updates.
Click here for the News 8 article

OSHA reviews cause of two arc flash accidents, finding they could have been prevented if the workers performed a simple test

In both cases the workers did not test to verify the equipment was actually deenergized before beginning the work- they believed it was, and that could have cost them their life. If they had taken the extra time to perform a simple test, these accidents could have been prevented.

Summary from ISHN of OSHA analysis of two arc flash accidents:
–In the first case study, an electrician was working on a circuit breaker panel that he thought was deenergized. After completing the work, the electrician was closing one of the enclosure doors when an arc flash occurred. Electric current from the energized panel moved through the air to the closed panel door. The rapid release of energy caused the panel door to fly open, hitting the worker and knocking him unconscious as the panel continued to arc.

Although the electrician believed that all power had been deenergized from the electrical panel, OSHA said this incident could have been prevented by voltage testing the electrical panel before starting work. Taking the time to perform a simple test can ensure workers’ safety.

Often arc flashes occur when reenergizing panels after maintenance. Proper cleaning is one method of reducing this hazard.

–In the second case study, an electrician and a coworker were retrofitting dated equipment, installing new buckets on a switch gear. The electrician mechanically disconnected the switch, but he did not test it to verify deenergization. As he attempted to remove the switch from the switch gear, an arc flash occurred. The electrician was severely burned and suffered acute respiratory stress.

OSHA said disconnecting the switch was not sufficient to prevent the flow of electricity through the equipment. The equipment should have been voltage tested to verify that it was deenergized before beginning work, as all sources of power to the equipment were not secured.

We cannot say it enough, it’s so important to always test to verify equipment is deenergized before starting any work. You must assume it’s live and wear the proper PPE to perform the test. Take those few extra minutes. It can safe your life.