Home > Fatalities, Industrial, Legal, Shock > OSHA Fines Nebraska Company After Fatal Electrical Accident

OSHA Fines Nebraska Company After Fatal Electrical Accident

BURWELL, NE – A central Nebraska biofuel company was cited $60,000 for safety violations after one of its workers was fatally electrocuted.

Federal regulators have proposed fining Next Step Burwell, LLC $60,000 for 5 serious citations and 1 willful citation.

This came after a subcontracted worker at the company’s Burwell operation was killed after being electrocuted cleaning out a cable tray.

OSHA said two other Next Step employees workers were shocked cleaning out the same cable tray and that Next Step exposed workers to electrical hazards and failed to provide adequate training.

OSHA said Next Step has 15 days to contest the citations or otherwise respond.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued biofuel company Next Step Burwell LLC of Burwell, Neb. five serious citations and one willful citation for exposing employees to electrical hazards and failing to adequately train workers.

OSHA cited the company following an investigation of an incident in which two workers were subjected to electric shock. A Next Step employee was shocked after being instructed to clean out a charged electrical wiring cable tray in which a combination of rain water and corn stalk dust had been allowed to accumulate. Subsequently, a subcontracted employee was fatally electrocuted after being asked to check the cable tray.

“Hazards associated with handling live electrical wiring must be addressed and mitigated,” said Charles Adkins, OSHA’s regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. “It is imperative that employers take all necessary steps to de-energize and lock out equipment, and provide proper training for workers so easily preventable incidents like this don’t happen.”

Serious citations were issued for failing to inform subcontracted employees of lockout/tagout procedures to prevent accidental start-up of machinery; failing to ensure that an adequate group lockout system was employed; allowing an unqualified person to work on or around energized circuits or equipment; a lack of guardrails on the floor area where the cable tray was accessed; and failure to guard or cap a rotating shaft end that presented an entanglement hazard. A serious citation is issued when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The willful violation relates to the employer’s failure to de-energize live parts when an employee may have been working in the vicinity. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

Next Step Burwell LLC faces $60,000 in penalties. It has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Omaha, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA’s role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education.


Story via KHASTV.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: