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Archive for January, 2011

Electrician Killed While Not Wearing Right PPE

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Northern Territory, Australia –  WorkSafe says a man who died in Darwin’s rural area was electrocuted when he touched a damaged wire.

The 66-year-old electrician was called to a house in Howard Springs last Thursday, to repair a power line damaged by a storm.

WorkSafe says tree branches had fallen on the line and the man was electrocuted when he tried to reconnect it with a power pole.

WorkSafe says the man wasn’t using the right protective equipment and didn’t have the tools to check if the line was damaged.

WorkSafe has issued a safety alert, urging all contractors to be extremely careful when working with damaged power lines.

Story via abc.net.au

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$1.5M Settlement on Electrical Injury Case

January 22, 2011 1 comment

Charlotte, NC – The law firm of Warren & Kallianos settled a case for $1,550,000.00 on behalf of a client who sustained severe burn injuries to his lower extremities when a light pole he was erecting came into contact with a high voltage energized power line. The client, who was working for a subcontractor at the time of the incident, sued the upper tier contractors for failing to provide a safe workplace and for violating numerous federal and state safety regulations as well as industry safety standards that led to the electrical burn injuries.

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Boy Electrocuted by Washing Machine Wire

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Taung, Africa – A nine-year-old child was electrocuted when he stepped on the exposed electric cable of a washing machine in Taung, North West police said on Monday.

The boy stepped on the chord while his mother was doing washing, Lieutenant Colonel Lesego Metsi said.

The cable was covered only with a blanket when the accident occurred on Saturday. The boy was rushed to hospital and declared dead on arrival.

Story via iAfrica.com

BSES Worker Electrocuted in India

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment
NEW DELHI, INDIA –  A 32-year-old daily wager working for power discom BSES was electrocuted while carrying out repair work on an electric pole in Vidya Vihar on Hastsal Road in west Delhi on Thursday morning. The deceased, Suresh was a resident of Sai Enclave in Mohan Garden.

“When Suresh was mending some electrical fault he came in contact with a high tension wire. He was rushed to Mata Chanan Devi Hospital, where he was declared brought dead,” said a police officer.

In another incident, three persons suffered an electric shock in Ranhola in west Delhi. They are admitted in Safdarjung hospital and are stable.

Story via TimesofIndia.com

MSHA Fatal Arc Flash Report Finds Negligence

January 21, 2011 Leave a comment

The following is an accident report by the US Depart of Labor on the death of  Michael Solomon.

UNITED STATES

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION

Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health

REPORT OF INVESTIGATION

Surface Nonmetal Mine

(Granite)

Fatal Electrical Accident

October 10, 2010

Hertzler Electrical Services LLC

Contractor ID No. R495

at

Martin Marietta Materials, Inc.

Snyder Mine

Snyder, Kiowa County, Oklahoma

Mine ID No. 34-01651

Investigators

Gary L. Cook

Mine Safety and Health Specialist

Dennis E. Robinson

Mine Safety and Health Inspector

Maxwell A. Clark

Electrical Engineer

Originating Office

Mine Safety and Health Administration

South Central District

1100 Commerce Street, Room 462

Dallas, TX 75242-0499

Edward E. Lopez, District Manager


 On October 10, 2010, Michael A. Solomon, contract apprentice electrician, age 42, and two co-workers were seriously injured when an arc flash occurred. They were performing maintenance work on an electrical circuit breaker. The circuit breaker was in the “OFF” position but remained energized on the input side. They were all hospitalized. Solomon died on October 12, 2010, as a result of his injuries.

OVERVIEW

 

The accident occurred because contractor management procedures failed to ensure that the electrical circuit breaker was de-energized prior to performing work on it.

Snyder Mine (Snyder), a surface granite mine, owned and operated by Martin Marietta Materials (Martin), is located near Snyder, Kiowa County, Oklahoma. The principal operating official is Joseph Schulte, plant manager. The mine operates one 8-hour shift per day, five days per week. Total employment is 23 persons.

GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Hertzler Electrical Services (Hertzler), an electrical contracting company, is located in Duncan, Stephens County, Oklahoma. Hertzler performs electrical work at Snyder on an as-needed basis. The principal operating official is Kelly Hertzler, owner. Hertzler employed 26 persons. Michael A. Solomon (victim) and 3 other Hertzler employees were working at Snyder at the time of the accident.

Granite is drilled and blasted from multiple benches in the quarry. Front-end loaders load broken rock into haul trucks. The material is then transported to the plant where it is crushed and stockpiled. Material is sold for use in asphalt and as railroad ballast.

The last regular inspection at this operation was completed on July 28, 2010.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCIDENT

On the day of the accident, Michael Solomon, apprentice electrician, reported for work at 5:30 a.m. at Hertzler’s office in Duncan, Oklahoma. He and Robert Law, journeyman electrician and supervisor, drove to Snyder while Christopher Bethany, apprentice electrician, and Christopher Fowler, apprentice electrician, drove to Snyder in another vehicle. About 7:00 a.m., the four electricians arrived at Snyder to complete a job they had started on October 8, 2010. They were replacing a junction box and installing new cables for six electric motors.

After completing the planned electrical work, Law asked Kenneth Piper, plant operator, to start the plant so they could check the new installations. Piper energized the plant for 20 minutes then de-energized it after verifying that all new installations were functional.

Hertzler employees frequently worked at Martin plants and they had been asked to install ground fault indicator lights at all plants when it was convenient to do so. With that request in mind, Law decided to install ground fault indicator lights at the main circuit breaker for the primary plant.

At 12:45 p.m., Bethany, Law, and Solomon entered the MCC trailer to install the indicator lights. Fowler remained outside to put away materials and equipment that were not needed. Piper had gone to the plant break room. The main circuit breaker was turned to the “OFF” position prior to working on the indicator lights. However, the fuses at the nearby transformer station were not removed to de-energize the circuit breaker. The input side of the main circuit breaker remained energized.

At 12:55 p.m., Solomon was kneeling in front of the main circuit breaker while Bethany and Law were standing next to him. The indicator lights had been mounted on the inside door of the cabinet which enclosed the main circuit breaker. One end of the ground wire for the indicator lights had been connected and the bottom section of the cover for the main circuit breaker had been removed when the accident occurred.

A fault condition was created while the electricians were working on the energized side of the main circuit breaker and an arc flash occurred. The 480-volt lead wires dropped from the bottom side of the main circuit breaker and one of the phases contacted the cabinet which enclosed the circuit breaker.

The three employees inside the MCC trailer were injured but managed to exit to the outside. Fowler heard the arc flash and ran to the MCC trailer to offer assistance. Piper heard the arc flash and came to the scene before calling for emergency medical services (EMS).

EMS arrived at 1:14 p.m., treated all the injured persons, and transported them to a hospital, where Solomon died on October 12, 2010, as a result of his injuries.

INVESTIGATION OF THE ACCIDENT

On the day of the accident, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) was notified at 1:44 p.m. by a telephone call from Joseph Schulte, plant manager, to MSHA’s emergency hotline. Lawrence Dunlap, supervisory mine safety and health inspector, was notified and an investigation was started the same day. An order was issued pursuant to section 103(j) of the Mine Act to ensure the safety of miners. This order was later modified to section 103(k) of the Mine Act. A citation was issued for untimely reporting of the accident.

MSHA’s investigators traveled to the mine, made a physical inspection of the accident scene, interviewed employees, and reviewed documents and work procedures relevant to the accident. MSHA conducted the investigation with the assistance of mine management, contractor management, the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board and the Oklahoma Department of Mines.

DISCUSSION

Location of the Accident

The accident occurred in the MCC trailer, which was located at ground level about 30 feet from the primary plant. The MCC trailer was a metal shipping container with a wooden floor.

Weather conditions at the mine were clear skies with an air temperature of 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The weather conditions were not considered to be a factor in the accident.

Electrical Equipment

A local power company provided 12,470-volt service to the primary plant at three 500-kva transformers. The transformers were mounted on elevated bracing between two power poles located about 15 feet from the MCC trailer. The transformers were protected by 65-amp fuses located at the top of one of the poles.

The secondary side of the transformers supplied 480-volt power to the main circuit breaker, located in the MCC trailer for the primary plant. Two parallel conductors per phase were routed from the output side of the transformers through a weatherhead in the top of the MCC trailer to the bottom side of the main circuit breaker.

The main circuit breaker for the primary plant was a “bottom feed” breaker located in a Type 4 cabinet in the MCC trailer. The main breaker specifications were unverifiable since the breaker was severely damaged as a result of the accident. The power conductors from the transformers entered the main circuit breaker from the bottom side rather than the top side as is typical with most electrical circuit breakers. This arrangement made it necessary to route the incoming power cables from the top of the MCC trailer down to the inside floor then bend them back up 180 degrees into the lugs of the main circuit breaker.

Training and Experience

Michael A. Solomon (victim) had 5 years, 10 months of experience, including 4 months at this mine. He had received all training required by 30 CFR Part 46.

Christopher C. Bethany had 2 years, 5 months of experience, including 4 months at this mine. He had received all training required by 30 CFR Part 46.

Christopher L. Fowler had 12 days of experience, including 2 days experience at this mine. He had not received all the training required by 30 CFR Part 46. A non-contributory citation was issued.

Robert E. Law had 13 years, 6 months of experience, including 6 months at this mine. He had received all training required by 30 CFR Part 46.

ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS

A root cause analysis was conducted and the following root cause was identified:

Root Cause: Contractor management procedures failed to ensure that the electrical circuit breaker was de-energized prior to performing work on it.

Corrective Action: Mine management conducted training classes for all employees at the mine regarding lock-out and tag-out policies and procedures. All electrical contractors will be trained in the future regarding proper lock-out and tag-out and “bottom feed” circuit breakers. The main electrical circuit breaker was replaced with a “top feed” circuit breaker. Management verified that Snyder did not have any additional “bottom feed” circuit breakers at Snyder.

CONCLUSION

The accident occurred because contractor management procedures failed to ensure that the electrical circuit breaker was de-energized prior to performing work on it.

ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

Issued to Martin Marietta Materials

ORDER No. 6576706 was issued October 10, 2010, under the provisions of Section 103(j) of the Mine Act:

    An accident occurred at this location on October 10, 2010, at 12:55 p.m. This order is being issued to prevent the destruction of any evidence which would assist in the investigation of the cause or causes of the accident. It prohibits all activity at the MCC for the crusher plant and the pole-mounted transformer providing power to the MCC, except to the extent necessary to prevent or eliminate an imminent danger, until MSHA has determined that it is safe to resume normal mining operations in this area. This order was issued verbally to the mine operator at 2:06 p.m. on October 10, 2010, and is now been reduced to writing.

This order was modified to a 103(k) order when investigators arrived at the mine. It was terminated on October 25, 2010, after conditions that contributed to the accident no longer existed.

CITATION No. 6576715 was issued October 21, 2010, under the provisions of Section 104(a) of the Mine Act for a violation of 30 CFR 56.12017:

    An accident occurred at this operation on October 10, 2010, when three contractor employees worked on an energized 480-volt electrical circuit. All three employees were hospitalized and one died on October 12, 2010.

This citation was terminated on October 25, 2010, after all persons at this mine were retrained on lock-out and tag-out and de-energizing electrical circuits prior to performing work on them.

Issued to Hertzler Electrical Services

CITATION No. 6576716 was issued October 21, 2010, under the provisions of Section 104(d)(1) of the Mine Act for a violation of 30 CFR 56.12017:

    An accident occurred at this operation on October 10, 2010, when three contractor employees worked on an energized 480-volt electrical circuit. All three employees were hospitalized and one died on October 12, 2010. Contractor management engaged in aggravated conduct constituting more than ordinary negligence in that one of the employees was a supervisor and he did not ensure that the electrical circuit was de-energized before working on it. This violation is an unwarrantable failure to comply with a mandatory standard.

This citation was terminated on October 25, 2010, after all persons at this contractor were retrained on lock-out and tag-out and de-energizing electrical circuits prior to performing work on them.

Boy Electrocuted After Playing with Light Socket

January 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Olango Island, A boy wanted to play doctor. He ended up electrocuted instead when he touched a live wire hanging on a tree in sitio Kaosmangan, barangay Baring, Olango Island last Saturday afternoon.

Police identified the nine-year-old victim as Stephen Ompad, a resident of the area.

A Grade 1 pupil of Baring Elementary School, Ompod died after playing with a socket bulb hanging at a tamarind tree.

The victim was with friends when they stopped by a tamarind tree. While his friends climbed the tree to get tamarind, Ompad was attracted to the wire on the tree.

He tried to grab the socket bulb, not realizing that it was a live wire.

Montebon said his playmates told him that Ompad pretended to be a doctor and pulled the socket to his heart to simulate the use of a stethoscope. But the socket instead electrocuted him.

He was rushed to the Sta. Rosa Community Hospital in the island but died before reaching it. /Reporter Jucell Marie P. Cuyos

Story via GlobalNationEnquirer.Net

State Government Launching Electrical Safety Campaign

January 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Perth, Austrailia – ALMOST 30 West Australians, including eight children, have died from electrocution in the past 17 years.

This very sombre statistic has prompted the State Government and Energy Safety to launch a new campaign to prevent people from being electrocuted in their homes and workplaces.

Starting from today, a television, radio and newspaper advertising campaign will encourage homeowners and businesses in pre-2000 homes to have Residual Current Devices (RCDs) fitted.

An RCD is an electrical safety device fitted to the main meter box or switchboard of a house or business and can detect any imbalance in the electrical current or leakage to earth and immediately cuts the electricity supply to avoid electrocution.

In the past 17 years, 29 people – including eight children – have been fatally electrocuted in WA homes.

Twenty-three of these deaths could have been prevented had RCDs been fitted.

Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien said today the campaign would be aimed at improving the take-up of RCDs in West Australian homes.

“The purpose of this campaign is to say to people, don’t wait until you have to sell your home to have and RCD fitted,” Mr O’Brien said.

“It is a proactive and important step in making sure that West Australians and their children are safeguarded in their own home.”

It had been compulsory since 2000 for all newly built homes and businesses to have two RCDs fitted as part of the initial electrical installation.

The State Government introduced regulations to require all homes for sale to have two RCDs fitted before the property could be sold.

Seniors who install RCDs in their home could also be eligible for a rebate of up to $200.

Energy Safety executive director Ken Bowron said about 20 to 30 per cent of West Australian homes were fitted with RCDs.

“Certainly by making them mandatory for new homes…we’ll be heading towards 70 per cent (covered) over 15 years,” Mr Bowron said.

“But we’re unhappy that that’s not fast enough so we are trying to get people to put them in voluntarily earlier.”

Story via PerthNow.com.au