Archive for November, 2012

TX: Hospital Moves 70 Patients after Electrical Fire

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

EL PASO, Texas:  More than 100 patients have been moved to other hospitals after an electrical fire damaged the Sierra Medical Center’s electrical room, fire officials said.  It happened just before 3 p.m Wednesday.

El Paso fire department spokesperson George DeLaTorre said the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction, which forced the hospital to run on generator power.  The hospital transferred  approximately 37 patients who were considered critical to area hospitals within the Sierra Providence Network, hospital officials said.  One woman was reportedly transported to another hospital immediately because she was in labor.

Philomena Wilkinson, a patient at the hospital, was in the cafeteria when the fire started.  “Billows of smoke coming out, just billowing out,” said Wilkinson.  Within 20 minutes, firefighters were able put out the fire and contain it to the electrical room, fire officials said.  DeLaTorre said electrical engineers worked to restore power to the hospital but were not successful due to the extensive fire damage.

The hospital staff decided to transfer all remaining patients to other hospitals before back-up generators failed.  A total of 70 patients were then transported to other hospitals, DeLaTorre said.  This morning, Wilkinson is at another hospital recovering from surgery.  “They helped me to evacuate too, ’cause obviously I had surgery on my leg,” said Wilkinson.  DeLaTorre said 21 units responded, as well as eight ambulances and eight private ambulances.  As of 10:45 a.m. Thursday, the hospital has reopened, officials said. The Sierra Providence Health Network released the following statement about Wednesday’s fire:

“This afternoon, an electrical surge caused a small fire in the basement of the hospital. The fire department quickly extinguished it, but the hospital was unable to regain power to some areas of the hospital. We have evacuated some patients to our sister hospitals, Providence Memorial Hospital and Sierra Providence East Medical Center. The fire department and local power company are on-site working with us to restore full power. The emergency room is on diversion for EMS and we will let everyone know when our electricity is fully restored. We take the health and safety or our patients, employees and visitors very seriously. We routinely practice for situations like this to ensure that we’re able to respond quickly and appropriately.”

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AZ: Substation Electrical Fire

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Flagstaff, Arizona:  An electrical fire sent flames high into the air above McMillan Mesa on Monday night, alarming residents as far away as the Flagstaff Mall and Interstate 40.

Calls to 911 dispatchers began reporting a structure fire inside an electrical substation at about 5:30 p.m. and flames were soon shooting some 50 feet into the air.

Arizona Public Service officials say they are still uncertain what caused the fire.

“We don’t know the cause or what equipment it is, but there were no outages,” said APS spokesperson Brenda Hazlett.

Capt. Mark Johnson of the Flagstaff Fire Department said that firefighters couldn’t immediately extinguish the blaze for fear of mixing electricity and water.

Firefighters let the blaze burn while they waited for an APS crew and then helped establish a path into the yard for utility workers when they arrived to shut off power. A lack of recent rainfall in the area had firefighters concerned that the flames could spread to dry fuels on the mesa, Johnson said.

The flames were quickly extinguished once the power was cut.

APS planned to have crews on site tonight and then continue their investigation in the morning.

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INDIA: Electrocution from Tree Trimming

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

MARGAO, INDIA: A lineman with the electricity department, Krishna Madhu Velip, 35, was electrocuted after coming into contact with a live high tension wire at Costi, Kalay, on Tuesday morning. Velip was a resident of Barcem, Quepem.

Police sources said that Velip had climbed a ladder to cut some tree branches that were over electricity lines. The cutting instrument in his hand accidentally touched the live line leading to his electrocution. Police have booked an offence against a junior engineer (JE) and senior lineman under Section 304-A of the IPC.

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INDIA: Electrocution from Falling In Pool

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

New Helhi, INDIA:  Police failed to make a breakthrough in the death case of a Noida-based businessman who died of electrocution after falling into a swimming pool in Sector 8 on Friday. Neeraj Garg, owner of Noida-based water-proofing company Nivedita Chemicals, went to inspect the swimming pool of Archohm, an architectural firm. Meanwhile, mystery over the death of Garg deepened as an official of the company, who was arrested on Friday was been released on bail on Saturday.

Garg was electrocuted on Friday morning when he fell into a swimming pool that had high-voltage current flowing through a live wire. Police have registered an FIR under Section 304A of the IPC against Saurabh Gupta (architect and managing director), SP Gupta (engineer and director) and Shiv Dutt Sharma of Archohm, an architectural firm constructing the pool on its roof. Police had arrested RK Gupta, father of Saurabh Gupta but later released him on bail. Police also interrogated several employees of Archohm. “We are still investigating and it would be too early to set the responsibility,” said a police official.

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OH: Arc Flash at Momentive Performance Materials

November 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Hebron, OH: An explosion at a factory sent one person with burns to the hospital Tuesday.  The incident was reported just after 3 p.m. at Momentive Performance Materials, 611 O’Neill Drive SE, Hebron.

The man who suffered burns to his hands and face was flown by medical helicopter to the Ohio State University Medical Center’s burn center.  The man’s name and age were not available.  The electrical flash fire was caused by an electric arc flash from an electrical panel, according to a written statement from Momentive Performance Materials Inc. According to safety material from General Electric, arcs are violent events caused by electricity using the air as a path instead of conductive material.  There were no other injuries, and the fire was contained to the immediate area of the electrical panel.

It was unclear what caused the lighting panel to arc, Hebron Fire Chief Randy Weekly said. The man who was taken to the hospital was in the area of the panel that arced, Weekly said.  Hebron, Heath, Buckeye Lake, West Licking and Granville Township fire departments responded to the scene.  Weekly cleared employees for return to the building at 4:30 p.m. The company will investigate the incident.

In April 8, 2011, The Advocate reported Momentive was breaking ground on a $5.4 million expansion of the manufacturing facility in the Newark Industrial Park off Ohio 79 in Hebron.  The 8,600-square-foot expansion was to add 10 jobs to the local plant, increasing the work force from about 80 in 2009 ago to 255. It was to and allow for a 30 percent increase in production capacity for the company’s largest-diameter fused quartz tubing.  The expansion allowed the company to meet increased demand for its high-purity specialty-fused quartz materials, used by the semiconductor industry in the production of computer chips.  Momentive, previously based in Albany, N.Y., merged with Columbus-based Hexion Specialty Chemicals, a $5.2 billion company, in October 2011. The new company has 3,600 patents and 20,000 customers.

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TX: QPP Agrees to pay $6,500 for Lockout Tagout Violations

November 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Austin, TX: Quality Pork Processors in Austin has agreed to pay $6,500 for serious workplace safety violations.

The company was cited by OSHA in April over its lockout/tagout process. That’s when a machine’s energy source is locked out before it’s tagged for cleaning or servicing. Not doing this properly can lead to a machine turning on unexpectedly, causing injury.

QPP was originally fined nearly $12,000, but that amount was reduced.

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TX: Vann Energy fined $246,000 by OSHA, Repeat Electrical Violations

November 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Nixon, TX: U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Vann Energy Services LLC in Nixon, Texas, with 13 safety and health violations including two willful and three repeat for exposing workers to flash fires and other hazards. Proposed penalties total $246,000.

OSHA’s Austin Area Office opened an inspection after two workers were injured by a fire that occurred in an oil and gas field tank.

Inspectors found that the employer had failed to ensure that the air inside the tank was tested for flammable or toxic materials before providing employees with electrical equipment that is capable of causing a potentially flammable environment to ignite.

The repeat violations include failing to provide eye and face protection, communicate chemical hazard information to workers and protect flexible electric cords from damage.

A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. OSHA cited the company for similar violations in August 2011.

One of the willful violations involves failing to implement a respiratory protection program that includes an evaluation of respiratory hazards, medical evaluations for workers, fit testing, training, and the proper means to clean and store the respirators.

The other violation involves failing to implement a permit-required confined space entry program that includes atmospheric testing, proper written permits, a qualified attendant and rescue plans.

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.

Eight serious violations include failing to ensure that electrical equipment such as a portable lamp is approved for hazardous locations, maintain electrical conductors and cords in a safe operating condition, train workers on the proper use of personal protective equipment, consult workers on confined space entry procedures and maintain fire extinguishers in a proper working condition.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Austin or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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