Archive for June, 2010

ID Lineman Back to Work After 7,620 Volt Shock

June 2, 2010 2 comments

LEWISTON, IDAHO – Aside from some scarring on his fingers and a missing big toe where 7,620 volts of electricity exited his body, Tig Cornell has fully recovered and is ready to return to work.

“Everybody’s pretty much told me that I’m lucky,” he said. “Everything just happened to work out perfectly the day that it happened.” The 35-year-old Avista lineman was severely burned on Jan. 27 while his crew was repairing power lines along the 2700 block of Sixth Avenue in Clarkston. Cornell, who is from Genesee, said he has absolutely no recollection of the day of the accident or the week after it happened. “I lost seven days where I don’t remember anything,”

Story Via The Spokesman-Review

One Man Killed, One Injured in Electrical Accident in CT

MILFORD, CONNECTICUT – One man is dead and a second injured after the relatives received a shock while power-washing a home with an aluminum ladder.

Victor Larranaga-Marquez, 33, of Bridgeport was pronounced dead after the accident on Point Beach Drive Tuesday evening, police said.

His uncle, Gerardo Marquez-Hernandez, 45, also of Bridgeport, sustained serious injuries, police said. He was transported to the Bridgeport Hospital burn unit, where he was listed in fair condition Wednesday afternoon, said hospital spokesman John Cappiello.

The accident happened when the ladder hit an overhead power line, police said.

Representatives of The United Illuminating Company and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are assisting with the investigation.

Story Via Hartford Courant

Martin Technical Electrical Safety Service

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WV Student Killed, Others Injured from Electrical Shock while Boating

June 1, 2010 2 comments

ROANOKE, WEST VIRGINIA – A Bridgeport High School student is dead after a freak accident at Stonewall Jackson Lake.

Fifteen-year old Michael Cunningham drowned at the lake Saturday evening as he was attempting to climb out of the water and onto a boat.   DNR investigators say one teenager had already climbed onto the boat and when Cunningham touched the boat’s ladder he received an electrical shock causing him to fall back into the waters.   He drowned.  

A third teenager, a female, was in the water behind Cunningham and also received the shock. She was taken to a local hospital where she was treated and released.  

Authorities recovered Cunningham’s body in 34-feet of water about 9:30 Saturday night.   The cause of the mishap remains under investigation.    Conservation Officers are awaiting the autopsy to determine if it was the shock or drowning that killed the teen.   What caused the electrical shock is still not known.

Story Via WV Metro News

PA Man Killed by Electrical Power Line in Accident

SULLIVAN COUNTY, PA – A man was electrocuted in Sullivan County early Saturday morning.

Authorities said Michael Serino of West Pittston died when he came in contact with a power line while at his vacation home in Elkland Tonwnship near Forskville. Serino was trying to supply electricity to his home and fell 30 feet to the ground after he was shocked.

The Sullivan County coroner said Serino dead at the scene. Police are continuing their investigation.

Story Via

Electric Company Fined for Accident – Can’t “Contract Away” Responsibility

Categories: Industrial, Legal, Shock Tags: , , ,

TX Man Injured by Electrical Power Line

HENDERSON, TEXAS – An East Texas man is in a Dallas hospital after he was injured during an electrical accident Thursday in Henderson.

Keith Freeman, 53, of Rusk County was working on a power line in the 200 block of Glendale Avenue. Henderson Police are still investigating, but they say it looks like a complete accident.

“A crane that extends out over, they had a cable on it, and a ball and hook on the end,” explained Lt. Craig Sweeney, with Henderson PD. “It appears that the subject that was injured grabbed on to the cable while it was in contact with the power lines.”

Freeman is listed in critical condition.

Story Via

Two Ferralgas Workers Killed in Electrical Accident when Boom Touches Power Line

AUBURN, WASHINGTON – The Department of Labor and Industries said Thursday that it is investigating the deaths of two men who perished Wednesday when the boom truck they were operating apparently made contact with a live power line in south Auburn.

 The men worked for the propane distribution company Ferrellgas, located at 3611 A St. S., in Auburn. Ferrellgas corporate spokesman Scott Brockelmeyer identified the men Thursday as Mark Olson, 40 of Auburn, and Scott Pigg, 25 of University Place. Olson had worked for the company since since January 2006 and Pigg since July 2007.

“We’re devastated,” said Brockelmeyer. “It’s about as sobering a situation as you can imagine.”

According to Auburn police, Olson and Pigg were moving propane tanks for Ferrellgas at about 5:08 p.m. when their boom touched nearby power lines, igniting a fire in the truck and injuring the men operating the boom. The men, who sustained injuries consistent with electrical and fire burns, were pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Several nearby tanks were charred during the fire, but firefighters from the Valley Regional Fire Authority quickly arrived on the scene, soaking a series of large propane tanks with water. Crews blocked off A Street for several blocks north and south of the location. No one else was injured.

L&I inspectors arrived at the propane store within a few hours of the incident and began their investigation.

“We’re at the start of the investigation, so there’s not a lot of information we have at this point,” said Hector Castro, a spokesman for L&I. “It could be some time before we complete our investigation. We have up to six months.”

L&I, which investigates all work-related fatalities to determine the causes leading up to the incidents, said in a press release that these are the 35th and 36th workplace deaths in Washington state this year. Between 1998 and 2010, 22 workers came too close to power lines and were electrocuted.

A spokesman for Puget Sound Energy said the power line belonged to Burlington Northern Railroad. A BNSF spokesman declined to confirm that information or to say how much power was actually flowing through the lines at the time.

“Just say BNSF is looking into this claim further,” said BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas

Story Via Seattle PI

UK Urges DIY Electrical Safety

June 1, 2010 1 comment

One death and 80 preventable electrical fires every week means lives at risk this bank holiday weekend
Plug Into Safety campaign launches to cut deaths and injuries caused by electrical accidents

Every week in the UK someone dies in an electrical accident at home, and one in eight has had a serious electrical shock1. Yet on the eve of a bumper DIY and gardening weekend, new research commissioned by the Electrical Safety Council2 shows just how little the UK thinks about electrical safety:

  • Over half of us haven’t checked our electrics – or had them professionally checked – in the last 12 months
  • A third of us say we are not concerned about electrical safety and;
  • Almost 13 million homes in the UK3 do not have adequate RCD (residual current device)4 protection – which can save your life, protect against dangerous electrical shock and reduce the risk of electrical fires.

RCDs are particularly important when using mains powered tools or electrical equipment outdoors. So, as we gear up for a bank holiday when thousands of people will be using lawn mowers and power tools for DIY and gardening, the Electrical Safety Council is launching the Plug into Safety campaign. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of electricity in the home and garden by encouraging us to take a few minutes to check our electrics and use RCD protection.

Campaign supporter, celebrity builder Tommy Walsh says: “If you are dusting off your power tools this weekend for a bit of DIY, take a few tips from me. Check your electrics and don’t use any appliances, lighting and switches that are faulty or visibly damaged. And, if you don’t already have it, consider fitting RCD protection. A plug-in RCD costs as little as £10 from most garden or hardware stores. Or consider upgrading to a modern fuse box with built-in RCDs. It could be a life-saver”.

“The link between Bank Holidays and two of the UK’s favorite leisure pursuits – gardening and DIY – led us to launch the Plug into Safety campaign this weekend”, explains Philip Buckle, Director General of the ESC. “The campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of electricity in the home and garden by encouraging everyone to take a few minutes to check their electrics – and use RCD protection.”

Plug into Safety aims to cut the number of people killed or injured through electrical accidents – and the most common can happen as we undertake DIY or get out in the garden this weekend. Of 281 survey respondents5 who have experienced an electric shock, the most typical causes of accidents are:

  • Using appliances that are faulty (23%)
  • Cutting through power leads (10%)

The ESC wants the Plug into Safety campaign to increase awareness of RCDs in much the same way that smoke alarms were promoted by the Government’s ‘Fire Kills’ campaign. When ‘Fire Kills’ started only 9% of households had smoke alarms – now they are in over 80% of homes. With help from a range of partners – including the fire service, housing providers, government and electricians – the ESC aims to take RCDs mainstream.

Story Via

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OR Nurse Electrical Shock Prompts Review of Codes

A frightening electrical injury to an operating room nurse highlights the need to update electrical safety policies for the operating room, according to the June issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS).

A change in electrical codes designating all operating rooms as “wet” locations could prevent such injuries, making the OR environment safer for patients as well as operating room personnel, according to the new report. The lead author was Dr. John H. Wills of University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque.

Wet Conditions Lead to Electrical Risks in Operating Room

The injury occurred during a routine operation, when a nurse was asked to plug in a piece of equipment. There was water on the OR floor from the use of irrigation equipment. While kneeling on the floor with one hand on the plug of the equipment and the other hand on the electrical junction box, the nurse felt a powerful electrical shock traveled up her arm and into her jaw, knocking her backward. The injured nurse had a ruptured eardrum and missed two weeks of work due to vertigo.

An electrical safety evaluation found no malfunction in the surgical equipment, power cord, or junction box. The circuit breaker supplying power to the operating room had not tripped. Although no definitive cause of the accident could be established, it was likely related to the presence of liquid from either from routine OR cleaning or the irrigation fluid inside the junction box.

The circuitry in the 40-year-old operating room was fully compliant with current National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) electrical codes. Yet it lacked two features that would have prevented the injury: an interruptible power supply (IPS) or ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).

In the past, when inflammable and potentially explosive anesthetic drugs like ether were used, all operating rooms had IPSs. As these drugs were replaced by newer, nonflammable anesthetics, electrical safety standards were changed to allow areas of the hospital to be designated as “dry” areas, if they were not normally subject to wet conditions.

Suggested Code Revision Could Make ORs Safer

“The designation of ORs as dry locations seems illogical to the minds of many anesthesiologists,” according to the authors. Fluid spillage is common in many common operating room procedures including procedures using irrigation equipment. Yet under the “dry” designation, many operating rooms function without electrical safety precautions that are standard in other settings. “It appears incongruous that GFCIs are required in home bathrooms and kitchens, but IPSs or GFCIs are not required in ORs,” Dr. Wills and colleagues write.

In a recent review of standards, the NFPA proposed designating ORs as “wet” locations although one key professional organization opposed the change. It is unknown whether the change will be incorporated in the latest revision of the NFPA standards, expected later this year.

In an accompanying editorial, Drs. Steven J. Barker and D. Jon Doyle echo the call to revise the codes. “It seems to us that anyone (or any agency) who believes that the OR is a ‘dry’ location has never spent any time in one,” they write. “Yes, there may be ORs that can usually be kept dry. But ‘usually’ is not good enough for this situation, wherein the hazard is great and the precautions for avoiding said hazard are rather simple and inexpensive.”

About the IARS

The International Anesthesia Research Society is a nonpolitical, not-for-profit medical society founded in 1922 to advance and support scientific research and education related to anesthesia, and to improve patient care through basic research. The IARS contributes nearly $1 million annually to fund anesthesia research; sponsors an annual forum for anesthesiology leaders to share information and ideas; maintains a worldwide membership of more 15,000 physicians, physician residents, and others with doctoral degrees, as well as health professionals in anesthesia-related practice; sponsors the SAFEKIDS initiative; and publishes the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia.

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TX Man Receives Electrical Arc While Working On Substation

MISSION, TEXAS – John Chavez is hospitalized in San Antonio after suffering third-degree burns to most of his body.  It happened during an accident at an electrical substation.

Police say the 46-year-old man was working on a ladder when electricity arced from a transformer to him.

“It was an arc from the coil to his chest. He was thrown off the ladder and landed about 10 feet away,” says Mission Deputy Fire Chief Rene Lopez Jr.

Chavez is a subcontractor, who had helped construct the power station.

His family tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS he is being treated at Brooke Army Medical center in San Antonio for burns to 60 percent of his body.

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