Benton, LA: The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is now investigating the electrical accident that injured two men and killed one on the grounds of a Bossier Parish park.
The man fatally injured in an electrical accident Thursday morning in Benton has been identified as 34-year-old Brandon Beaver of Shreveport.
According to the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office, Beaver was one of 3 men injured while working on a ground-level transformer Thursday morning at Cypress Black Bayou Park.
Lt. Bill Davis says the men were taken to local hospitals shortly after rescuers were called around 11:30 a.m. Thursday for a report of a possible electrocution at the park.
As additional details begin to emerge, it appears that there had been some electrical issues at the park. 2 contractors were working on it when park director Robert Berry happened to walk by and realize they were in distress.
According to park office personnel, the contractors had been gripped by the current flowing from a live power line through their bodies. Berry reportedly shoulder-checked them from the line, injuring himself in the process.
911 was called, and a park staffer attempted CPR on the victims. Their names have not been released.
1 of the contractors was taken to University Health, his injuries are considered non life-threatening. Beaver and another were taken to Willis Knighton North. Initially KSLA News 12 was told by the Bossier Sheriff’s Office that Beaver was rushed to University Health but that detail has since been retracted.
Bossier Sheriff’s investigators say they have deemed the incident a tragic accident.
OSHA arrived at the park around 1 o’clock Friday afternoon. Juan Rodriguez with OSHA’s public affairs office says investigators with OSHA will interview witnesses and employees, and look for any OSHA violations at the area where the accident happened.
Story Via: www.ksla.com
Bangalore, India: Even as Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (Mescom) winds up its one-week awareness programme, it is confronted with an ever-increasing number of fatalities, due to electrocution. The latest being the death of a farmer who touched a faulty fuse on his pumpset near Vittal on Wednesday.
Between April and December, 52 persons, including one official, died in electrical accidents involving Mescom connections. By sheer extrapolation, the financial year 2013-14 will record the most accidents for the public utility company – which serves Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Shimoga and Chikmagalur – in the recent years.
Officials offer a bevy of reasons, the prime being sagging wires, bent poles – either due to trees or branches falling during the monsoons, or damage to poles during ploughing or construction work – improper grounding due to stagnating water, illegal construction close to electric lines and illegal irrigation pumpsets among others.
Employee deaths are attributed to “overconfidence” in not creating a ‘safe zone’ while repairing live wires, or “procedural lapses” arising due to pressures of attending numerous complaints during the monsoons.
“During the rains, the porcelain insulators may develop hairline cracks, and as water seeps in, the insulators conduct electricity. If the lineman, who has to climb up each pole and see the insulators, is not observant, he may end up touching a live insulator,” said an official. A rainy night may see a team of linemen attending four to five calls, adding to the possibility of procedural lapses, he said.
Though at least two linemen have died in service in the district, since April last year, they do not feature in official records of Mescom personnel dead in the district – the number remains zero. The reason being, said officials, that linemen on contract are not considered “employees of Mescom”.
“For the regular linemen they get facilities of rehabilitation from Mescom. For the contract workers, you have to haggle with the contractor for additional funds,” said Shivkumar, president of the Mescom non-permanent workers association.
Story Via: thehindu.com
Sibley, Iowa — Iowa safety officials have cited a Sibley electrician business for violations that occurred when a flash explosion sent five people to a hospital in July, 2013.
The Iowa Division of Labor Services Occupational Safety and Health Bureau, or I-OSHA says the accident happened when workers were switching over electric lines at Timewell Drainage in Sibley.
Three entities have now been cited, including the City of Sibley Electric Department, Timewell, and now Current Electric of Sibley.
According to the citation, the issue occurred when workers were installing new electrical wiring to an 800 amp interior panel board. They say work was being performed while the wiring was energized and people were allowed in the immediate area without personal protective equipment. After installation of wiring to the panel board, the employer was confirming that proper function of the equipment had been achieved. They say lock and tagout was not applied ensuring that the equipment was not energized prior to installation of the panel cover. They say people were in the immediate area and were exposed to an arc flash and/or arc blast, and life-threatening injuries were sustained.
I-OSHA says that Current Electric should have conducted frequent and regular inspections of job sites, materials, and equipment. They also allege that Current Electric did not instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the applicable regulations.
Last fall, Timewell Drainage was cited for not instructing their employees in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions, and for employees not wearing personal protective equipment.
Also last fall, the City of Sibley Electric Department was cited in connection with the incident. I-OSHA says controls deactivated during the course of work on energized or de-energized equipment or circuits were not tagged on the worksite involving the energizing and deenergizing of a transformer with an incoming line voltage of thousands of volts.
When more than one independent crew requires the same line or equipment to be deenergized, the law requires a prominent tag for each such independent crew to be placed on the line or equipment by a designated employee in charge, and according to I-OSHA, that didn’t happen
Story Via: kiwaradio.com
ELKO, NV — The Mine Safety and Health Administration said Veris Gold failed to protect employees from harm at the company’s Jerritt Canyon Mill, after issuing 61 citations and orders to the site.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s MSHA announced the results of the December inspections Wednesday. The inspectors issued 135 citations, 24 orders and one safeguard during special impact inspections conducted at 11 coal mines and two metal and nonmetal mines.
The two highlighted properties in the inspection report were Jerritt Canyon and Hanover Resources LLC’s Caymus Mine in Boone County, W. Va. Caymus Mine produces coal.
“These two examples clearly indicate that some mine operators still don’t get it,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “They simply failed to comply with the Mine Act and find and fix hazards to protect miners from injury, illness and death.”
Veris Gold said “Jerritt Canyon takes all citations and actions from MSHA seriously and its management has been working with them diligently to review all claims. As of January 16, 2014, all citations and actions have been either acknowledged or met.
“It is important to note that the Jerritt Canyon Operations has an exemplary safety record with no fatalities since it began operating in 1982. Safety is our priority, and we will continue to work with MSHA in order to continue to ensure the safety of all employees.
“Recently, Veris Gold USA initiated a Safety Enhancement Program that is the personal responsibility of Graham Dickson, COO. This program will ensure that all employees remain secure at work and return home safely to their families at the end of the day.”
Jerritt Canyon received 49 citations and 12 orders after its inspection that began on Dec. 16. Veris Gold owns the Jerritt Canyon Mill Complex, which is 50 miles north of Elko and has more than 120 employees. The complex property includes three gold mines: Smith, SSX-Steer and Starvation Canyon.
According to the federal agency, “among the hazardous conditions cited during the inspection, MSHA found that an electrician working in the crusher area had been cleaning and performing maintenance on a 480-volt fully-energized switch gear, and there were spent mercury containers found at the bottom of wet mill stairs rather than being stored in a manner that would protect miners from mercury exposure. Nearly four feet of dirt had accumulated on the left side of a conveyor belt, blocking access to the steps and catwalk used to reach the plant and potentially hindering escape during an emergency.
“Inspectors also found: a chemical container improperly labeled; no warning signs for hazardous chemical storage; several unsecured gas cylinders; no provision for safe access in several locations; missing electrical cover plates on energized outlets; an improperly grounded cable; unlabeled breakers that exposed miners to electrical hazards; a broken ladder and insufficient illumination; failure to conduct workplace exams and air receiver tanks equipped with the wrong size pressure relief valves, creating the potential hazard of an exploding vessel.”
On Dec. 19, while MSHA inspectors were still on site, an electrical explosion and subsequent fire injured two employees in the mill.
The employees were injured after an arc flash and minor fire, said Shaun Heinrichs, chief financial officer for Veris Gold.
“One employee was airlifted with burns and another was taken into Elko with smoke inhalation,” Heinrichs told the Free Press in December. “Our thoughts are with our employees and their families. Safety is our utmost priority.”
Tim Woolever, Nevada Division of Forestry chief for the northern region, responded to the scene to handle the fire. He believed at least one of the men injured was an electrician who was working on a 480-volt panel.
MSHA inspected the Caymus Mine on Dec. 11 and issued 13 violations. The inspection party monitored the mine’s communication system to prevent advance notice of their arrival, and they proceeded to inspect the mine’s two working sections and a large portion of the conveyor belt. MSHA issued seven unwarrantable failure orders and six citations. This was the first impact inspection at this mine.
Since April 2010, MSHA has conducted 700 impact inspections and issued 11,562 citations, 1,076 orders and 49 safeguards.
Story Via ElkoDaily.com
Brooklyn, NY: A telecommunications company has reached a settlement with OSHA resolving litigation surrounding the electrocution death of an employee in 2011 in Brooklyn. Under the agreement, the company will pay a fine of $147,000 and make changes to its electrical safety training.
OSHA Regional Administrator Robert Kulick commented, “While no settlement can bring this worker back to his family, co-workers, and friends, this agreement can help prevent similar and needless tragedies in the future.”
The fatality occurred when a field technician came into contact with an energized power line as he worked from an aerial lift bucket. OSHA determined that field technicians were not adequately trained, did not wear proper protective gloves, and did not ground the suspension strand they were installing.
The settlement was filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, which reviews contested cases.
Story Via: safety.blr.com
According to Bescom records, the number of fatal electrical accidents in the first half of Fiscal 2013 in the Bescom jurisdiction was 86 involving people, and 45 involving animals.
Statistics of the past five years show that the number of accidents has been persistently high. In 2009-10, the fatalities were 105, while in 2012-13, it was 127.
According to an analysis done by Bescom, there are seven categories under which these accidents have taken place. Among them, snapping of conductors, accidental contact with live wire, lack of supervision and violation of safety norms and defective appliances top the list. The number of deaths due to electrical accidents involving the public is far higher than the number of deaths of the Bescom staff. In both 2012-13 fiscal and 2013-14 fiscal (until November), the number of fatal accidents involving the public has been higher compared with the number of non-fatal accidents. In 2012-13, 116 people died in electrical accidents and 51 met with non-fatal accidents.
In the current 2013-14 fiscal, 81 people have died, compared with 36 people who escaped in non-fatal incidents. As far as the staff is concerned, the company has lost four lives in 2013-14, and as many as 11 in 2012-13.
There have been deaths of animals, too. Of the 45 deaths of animals in electrical accidents, 17 were due to snapping of conductors, 13 due to accidental contact with live wire, among others.
In a circular on November 19, 2013, Bescom General Manager (Quality and Safety) Mohan Kalluraya notes: “Electrical accidents in the Bescom jurisdiction are increasing.
The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) is viewing this seriously… Even after issuing various circulars regarding identification and rectification of hazardous locations, yet accidents are on the rise.”
In a subsequent circular issued on December 7, 2013, by Bescom Director (Technical) H Nagesh, it is noted, “From the analysis of accidents reported, it is observed that the occurrence of departmental accidents is due to overconfidence of the field staff…”
Speaking to Deccan Herald, a KERC officer said that the majority of accidents occur because there is no sufficient gap between buildings and wires. Narrow roads and slums are more vulnerable.
Such accidents could be curtailed by 99 per cent by replacing open conductors with aerial bunched cables, he said. But these cables are quite expensive. “It is important to ensure that even if a wire snapped, it should not be hazardous. A better option is to resort to the underground system, though it is expensive. It costs approximately six times more than the overhead system, but it is definitely safer. Bescom may not have funds to replace it all at once, but it could be done in phases.”
Story Via: DeccanHerrald.com
Wisconsin: On Sept. 17, 2012, a worker employed by Highway Technologies Inc. was fatally injured while working with equipment that came into contact with overhead power lines during highway work in western Wisconsin. OSHA issued 10 safety violations with proposed penalties totaling $448,000 and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
Highway Technologies Inc. was performing guardrail and sign installation for a 13-mile stretch of I-94 near Menomonie, Wis., under contract with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation when the incident occurred.
“Highway Technologies failed to protect its workers from serious electrocution hazards,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “Multiple instances of the same violation over a period of time clearly demonstrate a willful failure to comply with basic safety and health standards. Employers must take steps to eliminate hazards and provide a safe working environment.”
OSHA issued citations for six willful violations of failing to ensure that parts of the equipment being operated were not within 10 feet of a power line, exposing workers to electrical shock and electrocution hazards. These citations also include instances of failing to ensure that any part of the machinery was not within 6 feet of an overhead power line while the machinery was traveling beneath the power lines.
Four serious violations also cited include failing to identify electrical work zones, determine if any part of the equipment being operated would be closer than 20 feet of a power line, train each worker on safe clearance distances from power lines and evaluate that each employee understood the training and risks of working near overhead power lines.
Due to the nature of the hazards and the violations cited, Highway Technologies Inc. has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure future compliance with the law. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer’s facilities if it has reasonable grounds to believe there are similar violations.
Houston-based Highway Technologies Inc. employs about 1,500 workers in 13 states installing highway guardrails, crash attenuators, barrier walls and signage. Prior to this investigation, the company had been inspected by OSHA 10 times since 2007, resulting in citations for nine serious violations. One of these inspections was initiated based on employee injuries sustained from contacting an overhead power line while installing a highway sign.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Story via ehstoday.com
Armstrong, BC: The workplace death of an Armstrong teenager in 2011 has officially been declared accidental. Provincial coroner Andrew Cave reported that Cullen James Rowan, 18, died of electrocution while at work in Armstrong on Sept. 22, 2011. Cave said Rowan had completed preparing a scissor lift and moving it to the back of the work yard where there were six high-voltage electrical power lines and a neutral conductor line running parallel with the rear fence. “Normal practice would have been to raise the lift to its full height using the ground control panel,” said Cave in his three-page report. “For an undetermined reason, Mr. Rowan had raised the lift while on its platform (using a hand-held control).”
A witness to the incident saw Rowan on the elevated platform on the lift, and stated that “it appeared as if he was moving his right arm in a defensive manner.” “There was a loud bang and a bright flash, and Mr. Rowan collapsed onto the platform of the lift,” said Cave. Two other people witnessed the accident, staff was alerted and 911 was called. Cave said an exam of the power lines showed Rowan had come into close proximity of one of the 25,000 volt distribution lines, and that a flashover (arc flash) – an electrical arc passing through the air conducting through him and the lift to ground – had occurred. “A distance of approximately 2.5 centimetres from Mr. Rowan’s hand to the line would have been sufficient for the electricity to flashover,” said Cave.
WorkSafeBC investigated and discovered Rowan had been employed at the yard for slightly more than two months. His training was primarily given through verbal direction as each new task was encountered. “Interviews with other employees indicated that there was a general understanding of the dangers surrounding the raising of machinery near the power lines,” said Cave. The required minimum distance between any object and the power lines was three meters. One operator positioned below the power lines told investigators that there were no visual reference points to establish how close the power lines were, making a misjudgment of distance possible.
WorkSafeBC has provided direction to the employer in regard to increasing training and awareness of hazards.
Story via vernonmorningstar.com
Santiago, Chili: This is the horrific moment a man performing acrobatics on the top of an electricity pylon was electrocuted.
The man, named only as Miguel, touched one of the high-voltage cables with his legs as he swung back and forth on the beams yesterday.
The contact with the live wires killed him instantly, to the horror of onlookers who had gathered to watch the scene.
Emergency services in the Chilean capital of Santiago had been called after he was spotted ‘playing around’ on the pylon.
Firefighters spent 30 minutes fruitlessly trying to coax him down before he made the fatal wrong move.
The moment was caught in dramatic amateur video footage.
Story via mirror.co.uk
Geraldton, Autralia: The state’s energy watchdog has charged Western Power over the electrocution of a 17-year-old girl in Geraldton.
Amber Finch died after she was struck by a damaged power line left dangling by a storm, while walking home with friends in the dark in January 2011.
Two friends who tried to help her were also injured.
Energy Safety has charged Western Power under electricity network safety regulations and the matter is due in the Geraldton Magistrates Court in April.
Story via Yahoo! News