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Archive for November, 2010

Man in Guyana Gets Electrocuted Wiring His House

November 23, 2010 Leave a comment

SOPHIA, GUYANA – A 40-year-old construction worker was electrocuted some time on Sunday night after he reportedly attempted to make an illegal connection at his Sophia home.

A neighbour of Leslie Clarkson called ‘Metro’ found his body lying face down in front of his 701 D Field Sophia home at around 7 am yesterday but it is suspected that he died some time on Sunday night.

“I remember he pass about just quarter to seven last night [Sunday night] and must be he went to hook up he light when he get shock,” a woman in the area told Stabroek News.

A wire was found next to the man’s body and it is believed that is what he was using to connect electricity when tragedy struck. Residents said that early Sunday evening they had a power outage during a heavy downpour and they assumed Clarkson may have used that period to connect his light but before he completed the task electricity was returned to the area.

They pointed out that because of where Clarkson, a father of a six-year-old boy, lived–at the end of a muddy dam–no one traversed pass his house and as such even though he may have died since early Sunday evening his body was only seen yesterday morning.

A cousin of the man told Stabroek News that he lived alone since his son lived with relatives.
He said they received information via a telephone call that the man’s body was in front of his home and when they arrived they saw him lying in front of his gate. He was fully dressed, the cousin said. Relatives said they could not say how the man met his demise although persons are saying he was electrocuted.

“Look life hard and people does have to thief light here because the government mek it too hard.
We ent gat money to pay light bill. So is connecting Metro deh connecting when he dead,” a resident told this newspaper.
The resident, who was urged on by others, said that most of them came from areas where they had electricity and as such it was difficult for them to adjust to a life of darkness.

“When I come here is like I deh going mad because I didn’t accustomed to lamp and so on and I buy a generator but gasoline too expensive, by the time you watch a movie it done,” another resident said.

The resident further stated that they did not have the money to pay for the electricity to be connected but he bought $8,000 in telephone wire to make an illegal connection to his home.

“If the rich doing it what you want the poor do? We can’t gat we children studying with lamp we have to do what we have to survive. Is just unfortunate that Metro had to dead like this,” Stabroek News was told.

Story via Stabroek News

Cleveland State U Found Not Liable for Electrical Death

November 19, 2010 Leave a comment

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland State University is not liable for the death of biology professor Tarun Mal, who was electrocuted in 2005 when he used a nongrounded electrical device that adapts a three-pronged plug for a two-pronged device to plug in a homemade grow lamp, the Ohio Court of Claims ruled this week (pdf).

 The university, however, now requires all employees to undergo electrical safety training. It also has installed ground fault circuit interrupters, which detect fluctuations in current and breaks the circuit to prevent electrocution, in electrical outlets in laboratories.

“It was obviously a tragic incident,” said CSU spokesman Joe Mosbrook.

Mal, 42, was in a biology lab in the Science Research Building at CSU on Aug. 16, 2005 with two students when they decided to use a three-tiered metal rack with two fluorescent lights on the top tier to conduct an experiment, according to court documents. The three-pronged light plug was attached to an adapter called a “cheater plug,” which was then plugged into a two-prong electrical timer.

Mal held on to the metal rack and knelt down to plug the timer into a three-prong wall outlet when the grow lamp emitted a surge of electricity of nearly 400 volts. The associate professor was electrocuted.

It was later discovered that one of the fluorescent lights had a defective “ballast,” a small transformer used to regulate voltage.

Mal’s wife, Sanchita Mal-Sarkar, an instructor in computer and informational science at CSU, and their daughter sued the university. A trial was held in fall 2007.

Mal-Sarkar’s lawyers contended that CSU did not conduct routine inspections of electrical equipment and wiring in the laboratories and did not provide electrical safety training to employees. They also alleged the use of cheater plugs and the lack of ground fault circuit interrupters contributed to unsafe conditions in the laboratory because water is nearby.

According to testimony, the National Electric Code prohibits cheater plugs and requires circuit interrupters in bathrooms and kitchens, because water is nearby, but not in areas such as laboratories.

CSU lawyers said the university did not authorize the acquisition or use of the light rack assembly and did not require Mal to use that system to conduct his research.

In his decision, issued Wednesday, Judge Joseph Clark wrote that while he was convinced CSU may have violated certain Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Public Employees Risk Reduction Program regulations by not providing electrical safety training or inspecting its 200 laboratories, such violations did not rise to the level of an intent to injure an employee.

Even if CSU provided training and conducted inspections there was no way to determine if that would have prevented Mal’s death from the use of unauthorized equipment, he wrote.

CSU’s Employee Health and Safety Manual, adopted in January, 2006, has an extensive section on electrical safety. It prohibits cheater plugs and requires approval before any non-commercial electrical equipment is used in laboratories. And if water is used within six feet of an electrical outlet a circuit interrupter will be installed.

Story via blog.cleveland.com

Girl Electrocuted by Electrical Wire in School Garden

November 19, 2010 Leave a comment

 Lucknow, India –  The manager of a private school in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district was booked Friday in connection with the death of a minor girl, who got electrocuted while plucking flowers from the flower bed in the school garden, which had been connected to a live wire by the school administration.Twelve-year-old Radha Singh was electrocuted Thursday evening after she came in contact with the wire in the Saraswati Vidya Mandir in Indira Nagar area of Unnao.

‘The girl, who was returning from her tuition classes, was killed on the spot,” police inspector Lakshman Rai told reporters Friday in Unnao, some 35 km from Lucknow.

‘We today (Friday) registered a case against the school manager Shankar Sahu in connection with the girl’s death,” he added.

Sahu is absconding.

‘Teams have been constituted to nab him,” said Rai.

Radha was a Class 7 student of another branch of the Saraswati Vidya Mandir in the Pooranpur area.

Story via Sify.com

$1M Building Fire in Green Bay Likely Electrical Accident

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – A fire that destroyed a 128-year-old downtown building Nov. 5 was an accident, according to fire officials who also said that the building’s electrical system couldn’t be ruled out as a potential cause.

The fire started in a space between the first and second story that ran the length of the building at 101 S. Chestnut Ave. It likely was burning for hours before being discovered, Green Bay Fire Department Capt. Chris Heil said Thursday.

The electrical system is the only source that could have created a spark or heat in that area, but investigators could not pinpoint an exact problem wire, Heil said.

The case has been turned over to an insurance company, and an electrical engineer may make a finding today.

The building is a total loss and the damage is expected to be more than $1 million. The building housed eight apartments and Super Saver Liquor Store. The fire injured one man and displaced 16 people.

Fire crews said they were able to protect neighboring buildings from fire loss and damage.

The Green Bay Fire Department Fire Marshal’s Office investigated the fire in cooperation with the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Department of Criminal Investigation.

The fire department noted that a resident made it out of the building alive after re-entering to claim some personal possessions. Fire officials noted that re-entering a burning building should never be an option.

Story via GreenBayPressGazzette.com

Investigation Revelas Fatal Fire Caused by Electrical Problem

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

FLORENCE, TENNESSEE – State Fire Marshal officials say wiring problems caused the fire last week that resulted in the death of a Florence man.

Assistant State Fire Marshal Scott Pilgreen said investigators ruled the fire was accidental and likely started from a receptacle in the living room of the house at 314 Patton St. in east Florence.

“We thought from the get go that it was likely some type of electrical problem,” Florence Fire Marshal Jeffrey Perkins said.

An autopsy determined Glen Marvin Hanback Sr., 54, died from smoke inhalation. Hanback’s body was found in the kitchen as firefighters battled the early morning fire Nov. 12.

The fire started in the living room, which is where neighbors said Hanback usually slept. Family members said he lived alone.

“The fire was so bad in the living room that it burned through the roof,” Perkins said. “As we got inside looking around, the attic throughout the house was charred. If the firefighters had not gotten (the fire) knocked down as soon as they did, the whole roof likely would have come down.”

It took firefighters 35 minutes to get the fire under control.

The fire was reported at 4:16 a.m. by a Florence police officer who was on patrol and saw flames in the house.

Sgt. Jeff Stanfield said when he arrived at the house, about two minutes after the call, flames had already broken through the roof and the windows.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 67,000 structure fires a year are caused by some type of electrical problem. Home electrical wiring causes twice as many fires as electrical appliances, according to the fire administration.

A report by fire administration notes most electrical fires result from problems with faulty electrical outlets and old wiring. Also, most of the residential fires start in a bedroom.

“This is a very tragic accident,” Perkins said of the east Florence fire.

The fire fatality is the fifth in the Shoals this year and the first in Florence since May 24, 2006.

A mother and her adult son died in a Muscle Shoals residential fire in October, while a Colbert County man died in a Spring Valley fire in May. A Tuscumbia man died in an apartment fire in March.

Story via Times Daily

Electrical Fire in ND School Causes Extensive Damage

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

LIDGERWOOD, NORTH DAKOTA — Authorities probing the cause of a fire at the school in the southeastern North Dakota town of Lidgerwood have determined it was not intentionally set.

Deputy Fire Marshal Jerry Crane told The Forum that he was at the school Wednesday and plans to continue his investigation after the Veterans Day holiday.

School Superintendent Tony Grubb told KVLY-TV that officials suspect the fire was electrical in nature.

The fire late Tuesday afternoon at the K-12 school caused extensive damage. The school was hosting a regional volleyball tournament and fans, students and players were evacuated. No injuries were reported.

The tournament was moved to Lisbon. Officials are still deciding where students will attend classes during repairs.

Story via JamestownSun.com

Bluefield WV Post Office Fined $280K by OSHA for Electrical Safety Violations

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

BLUEFIELD, WEST VIRGINIA — A mail-processing facility in Bluefield has been cited for several workplace safety violations for allegedly exposing workers to electrical hazards.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found multiple violations at the 3010 East Cumberland Road facility in Bluefield. OSHA said employees were working with live electrical parts, leaving them vulnerable to multiple hazards. OSHA said one serious citation was issued for allowing an unauthorized employee to perform inspections at the facility.

The violations allege the Bluefield facility failed to label electrical cabinets, properly train employees, use safety-related work practices when exposed to energized electrical parts and provide proper electrical protective equipment.

Cathy Yarosky, a communications program specialist with the United States Postal Service in Charleston, said the citations will have no impact on the normal customer operations at the Bluefield facility. Yaroksy said the alleged violations occurred in a plant facility where there is no access to customers.

“The postal service places the safety and well being of its employees as a top priority,” Yarosky said. “Bureau of Labor statistics validate that the postal service works twice as safe as other delivery organizations. The National Safety Council recognized more than 5,800 of our employees for driving a million miles without an accident. No other business comes close. The council’s 2009 Safe Driver of the Year award was presented to one of our dedicated employees who drove two million miles accident free.”

Yarosky said efforts to enhance safe electrical work practices are already underway.

“Additionally, in January 2010, the postal service began implementing an electrical work plan to enhance its safe electrical work practices for employees, and the postal service believes this plan meets OSHA standards,” Yarosky said. “The plan provides for electrical risk assessments, training, personal protective equipment (ppe), enhanced safe electrical work practices and insulated tools. As a result of the plan, the Postal Service has already provided 123,000 hours of training for more than 20,000 maintenance employees. We are in the process of distributing more than $2 million in protective safety gear to them.”

OSHA initiated an inspection of the Bluefield facility in May. Inspectors cited the facility with four willful violations carrying a penalty of $280,000 and one serious violation with a penalty of $7,000.

The postal service has 15 business days from the receipt of the citations to comply with, meet with the OSHA area director or contest the findings of the citations, according to the OSHA press release.

Story via BDTonline.com