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OSHA investigating incident involving utility worker in Texas
The United States Department of Labor is investigating a workplace accident involving a utility worker in Brazos County.
An employee of Echo Powerline doing contract work for Bryan Texas Utilities (BTU) was shocked while working on utility lines south of College Station, TX on Wednesday. He was taken by a medical helicopter to a hospital following the accident. His condition is unknown at this time.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) confirmed it is investigating the incident. Officials won’t release more details until the investigation is completed.
OSHA cites solar contractor almost $40,000 after fatal electrocution of one of their workers
The agency said Wednesday that it cited Power Factor LLC for four serious violations after the employee, who has not been identified, died July 24, 3018, while installing solar panels at the base. In their findings, the agency says the employee was hoisting a metal rail that came into contact with overhead power lines.
OSHA cited the company for allowing employees to work too closely to electrical power circuits without de-energizing and grounding the circuits, or guarding the circuits using insulation or other means.Officials also said the company didn’t regularly inspect the job site or train workers to recognize and avoid hazards.
“This tragedy could have been prevented if the employer had complied with electrical standards that require maintaining a safe distance from unprotected energized power lines, training employees, and providing personal protective equipment,” said OSHA Wichita Area Director Ryan Hodge.
Click here to read more directly from the OSHA news release
NFPA reports “substantial share” of contractor deaths involving electrical incidents in the construction industry, during recent 5 year period
The construction industry experienced a “substantial share” of contractor deaths involving electrical incidents during a recent five-year period, according to a report from the National Fire Protection Association.
NFPA senior research analyst Richard Campbell examined Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries data for contract worker deaths from 2012 to 2016. “Contracted worker” was defined as “employed by one firm but working at the behest of another firm that exercises overall responsibility for the operations at the site” where the fatality occurred.
Data showed that 325 electrical fatalities involved contract workers during the studied time period. In 2016, 63 cases occurred, ending a three-year rise that peaked at 76 in 2015.
Campbell notes in the report that time and budgetary pressures in the industry may cause workers to try to complete jobs faster or work longer hours – “both of which can compromise safety.”
To help reduce the number of electrical deaths and improve safety, NFPA recommends that:
Contractors establish reasonable expectations for when work will get done and not promise unrealistic deliverables in hopes of landing a contract.
Owners select contractors based on reliability and safety considerations. Contractors should do the same when selecting subcontractors.
Top management communicate to supervisors, whose responsibilities include both keeping production on track and ensuring work is done safely, that safety must not be compromised when schedules are threatened.
Exposure to electricity was the fifth-leading cause of work-related death for contract workers during the five-year period.
Slips, trips and falls were the leading causes of death (1,350 fatalities), followed by contact with objects and equipment (951) and transportation incidents (813).
Click here for the entire article from Safety+Health Magazine.