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Posts Tagged ‘boom’

Utility Worker Electrocuted in TX

February 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Flower Mound, Texas – A utility worker was fatally electrocuted Monday while working in Double Oak. [ Bloggers note:  “fatally electrocuted” is redundant and the work “electrocuted” is often misused by the media.  If a person has been electrocuted, they have been killed by electrical shock.]

Police said that Jacob Lee Willis, 32, of Waxahachie, TX was working with Southern Electric Corporation on a power pole replacement crew in the 100 blk. of Meadow Knoll Rd. when an energized power cable touched the metal boom of the lift he was standing beside.

Upon arrival, Double Oak Police Officer Michael Huffman went to the backyard and observed Willis on the ground receiving CPR. 

The Argyle Fire Department responded, provided medical treatment and transported Willis to Presbyterian Hospital in Flower Mound where he was pronounced dead.

An investigation into the official cause of death by the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office is ongoing.

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OSHA: MN Power Electrocution Still A Mystery

January 5, 2011 1 comment

DULUTH, MN – What caused the electrocution death of a Minnesota Power employee at a Schroeder worksite in September remains a mystery, even after a state investigation wrapped up last week.

The nearly five-month probe by the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration found no hazards at the site that could have caused the death of Kyle Damberg, a longtime company employee whose body was found in a building under construction.

No citations will be issued in the incident for unsafe practices, the final report says.

“We believe OSHA did a thorough investigation,” said Amy Rutledge, a Minnesota Power spokeswoman. “We certainly agree with their findings. It did confirm that our work site was safe, that Minnesota Power’s safety practices meet or exceed OSHA’s safety standards.”

The state investigation focused on identifying hazards that may have contributed to Damberg’s death, said James Honerman, an OSHA spokesman.

“The cause of death is not something that we determine,” he said. “We look for particulars. We found none in this case.”

But Dr. Donald Kundel, the Duluth medical examiner who conducted the autopsy, said Tuesday that Damberg had a large electrical burn on his left side that couldn’t have been caused by anything else.

“In my opinion, he was electrocuted by a high-voltage power source,” Kundel said. “There was no other explanation for his death.”

The body of Damberg, 47, of Duluth was found on the afternoon of Sept. 3 in a maintenance building under construction near the company’s Taconite Harbor Energy Center. As a designer in the company’s engineering department, Damberg regularly checked on the work done by the project’s contractors and subcontractors. With a laptop and a camera, he was there that day after workers left to photograph the progress.

Damberg’s body was found by a man who stopped by to pick up a rented articulating boom lift and an arc welder that had been used by a subcontractor, the OSHA report said.

“Initially, we thought (the death) may have been natural causes, such as a heart attack,” Cook County Sheriff Mark Falk said. “Nothing looked out of the ordinary.”

It wasn’t until the autopsy that signs of electrical trauma were discovered. But nothing at the scene indicated where the electrical discharge came from, Falk said.

According to the OSHA report:

It had rained off and on that day, so conditions were wet in the roofless building. A temporary 120 volt electrical panel had been installed on the northwest corner of the building. Damberg’s body was found on the northeast side, on a pallet 15 feet from the boom lift with its arm positioned close to the floor and the arc welder in the lift’s basket. The welder was plugged into the lift’s power source. But both the lift and welder were turned off.

Kundel’s theory is that the boom lift was moved after Damberg was electrocuted.

“I told them to investigate whether that machine could have touched a high wire and (Damberg) leaned up against that machine,” Kundel said. “The question is whether the machine could have been moved after Damberg was electrocuted to prevent someone from being recognized as negligent.”

That questions still surround Damberg’s death is unfortunate, Rutledge said, noting that it continues to be an emotional time for the company and for Damberg’s co-workers.

“Based on the investigation, it’s unclear whether anything (more) will be found,” she said. “That can be difficult for the family and for our co-workers here.”

Damberg’s widow, Karen, declined comment on the OSHA findings, referring questions to her attorney, who couldn’t be reached. Damberg also was survived by two sons.

Story via Duluth News Tribune

Firefighters Save Man Shocked by Power Lines

December 30, 2010 Leave a comment

St. Peter, MN – In what proved to be a brief but emotional event, several members of the Kasota Fire and Rescue Department were honored Wednesday evening for helping save the life of a Nicollet man who was electrocuted on October 20.

Le Sueur County Sheriff Tom Doherty and Chief Deputy Dave Tietz were on hand at the Kasota Community Center for a ceremony to honor John Iverson, Donnie Fromm, Bill Connors and members of the Kasota Fire Department for their efforts in saving Steve Barrer of Nicollet.

Barrer, along with Iverson, had been working on some power lines for the city of Kasota at around 2:45 p.m. when he was electrocuted. Barrer was elevated in the bucket of a boom truck while Iverson was down below when the incident happened.

While on the ground, Iverson looked up and noticed that his co-worker was slumped over in the bucket, possibly due to being electrocuted. Iverson then lowered Barrer down to the ground and removed him from the bucket.

Iverson could tell that Barrer was in full cardiac arrest and immediately began administering CPR on him.

Donnie Fromm and Bill Connors happened to be near by when the incident occurred and noticed there was a problem and quickly responded to where Iverson and Barrer were. Connors called for emergency assistance and monitored Steven’s vitals while Fromm helped Iverson with CPR.

Those three continued to provide medical attention to Barrer until the Kasota Fire Department arrived on scene. Once there, firefighters applied the automated external defibrillator (AED) to Barrer. The AED recycled twice and delivered two external shocks to Barrer, after which his heart began to beat once again on its own.

The firefighters continued to monitor Barrer until the ambulance personnel arrived at the scene. Barrer was later transported by Mayo One Air Ambulance to Regions Hospital in St. Paul where he received care and was released the following day without complications.

“I was advised by rescue personnel that following the shock from the AED that Steven  was actually speaking to them before being loaded and air lifted to Regions Hospital,” Doherty said. “I find it amazing that the tools we now have and have had for a long period of time are making the difference between life and death. And the knowledge, training and the willingness to get involved by the public in an emergency situation is incredible.

“I can’t say enough about our fire/rescue and ambulance personnel in Kasota and also throughout LeSueur County that do this on a daily basis without hesitation. Your efforts define the words ‘teamwork’.”

For Barrer, it was obviously an emotional moment for him seeing those responsible for saving his life as he expressed his thanks to each of them after the ceremony.

“I don’t remember anything about that day but eating dinner,” he said during the ceremony.

Kasota Fire Chief Lanny Woods commended his crew for job well done and emphasized how important the work is members of his department do in situations like the one Barrer experienced.

“It’s definitely great to put one in the ‘win’ column for a change,” Woods said. “We’ve had enough bad luck in this town for awhile and it’s nice to see something positive come out of this.”

Kasota Mayor Brett Christensen, whose term expires at the end of 2010, also expressed his thanks for the efforts of those first on the scene and also to his city’s fire department personnel.

“It’s nice to make an exit (as mayor) on such a high note,” Christensen said.

story via St.PeterHerlad.com


Ferrellgas Fined for High Voltage Electrical Accident in WA

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

AUBURN, WASHINGTON – An Auburn propane company where two men were electrocuted earlier this year has been cited and fined by the state Department of Labor and Industries. According to the Nov. 12 citation, Ferrellgas failed to foresee the danger posed from a high-voltage power line over its property and failed to properly train employees on how to avoid it, the Labor and Industries investigation found.

Specifically, Ferrellgas did not ensure that employees maintained a minimum distance of 10 feet between high-voltage lines and any equipment they were using. Nor did it seek to deactivate the 7,200-volt power line or insulate, the investigation found.

The company was fined $8,400, according to the citation.

Mark Olson, 41, of Auburn, and Scott Pigg, 25, of University Place, Pierce County, were electrocuted May 26 when the tip of the boom truck they were using to move propane tanks around the company yard touched an overhead power line.

Olson had joined the company in January 2006 and worked as a field-installation specialist, setting up propane tanks for customers. Pigg, a material handler, had been working for Ferrellgas since July 2007.

The two men had been involved in the company’s annual inventory in the gas-tank storage yard when the fatal accident occurred, according to Labor and Industries spokesman Hector Castro.

Representatives of Ferrellgas could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

However, Castro said members of the company were “extremely traumatized” by the accident and already had taken measures to eliminate the chance of similar accidents by the time the citation was issued.

“It was very traumatic to them, and they got rid of the crane and moved all the propane tanks away from the power lines,” Castro said. “They just hadn’t realized the hazard the power line posed.”

Story Via Seattle Times

2 UK Men Electrocuted to Death by 11,000 Volts

October 19, 2010 Leave a comment

MIDDLEWICH, UNITED KINGDOM – Two labourers were electrocuted to death by 11,000 volts in Middlewich after a lorry they were stood behind tipped up and struck overhead cables.

Warrington Coroner’s Court heard how Lornford Construction employees Paul Whalley, aged 45, and Mark Bennett, aged 41, had been laying tarmac for new houses on Henry Street in Crewe on November 20 of last year.

The construction workers, along with lorry driver George Thompson, decided to dump the excess tarmac at a caravan site in Booth Lane, the court heard.

When they arrived at the Three Oaks Caravan Park, Mr Bennett, of Crewe Road, Winterley and Mr Whalley, of Newall Avenue, Sandbach helped direct the truck as it began to tip its load.

However, the truck was parked under the 11,000 volt cables, owned by Scottish Power, and as the tipping began Mr Thompson heard ‘a bang like a gunshot’.

Coroner Dr Nicholas Rheinberg said: “The lorry driver wasn’t familiar with the location so Mr Bennett and Mr Whalley agreed to drive there.

“They were directing the lorry back and it was raised to lower the tarmac to the ground.

“They heard a bang and the next thing the driver knew was that the two men were lying on the ground.”

The contract haulier immediately lowered the tipper but it was too late. Both men had collapsed at the rear of the lorry having been electrocuted.

Landowner Thomas Price and Mr Thompson, who was saved by the rubber on the vehicle’s tyres, tried to treat the pair but they later died at Leighton hospital after suffering massive heart attacks.

The jury recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Mr Bennett’s partner Gillian Robinson recalled to the court how he used to walk into their Crewe Road property wearing his tarmac boots.

Brian Whalley, father to Paul, said his son enjoyed his work.

Cause of death was recorded as electrocution by Dr Rheinberg. A Health and Safety investigation remains open into the accident.

Story via Middlewich Guardian

PA Workers Injured in Electrical Accident when Boom Hits Power Line

SOUTH MIDDKETON TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA – Two workers injured in an electrical accident on a farm in South Middleton Township, Cumberland County, were flown to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center just after noon today.

Tim Yingst, chief of Citizens Fire Company of Mount Holly Springs, said the two were injured around 11:30 a.m. while delivering cattle feed to a farm in the 800 block of Petersburg Road. A boom of their truck, owned by Good Transportation Services Inc of Columbia, Lancaster County, hit a high-voltage electrical cable, Yingst said. He said he didn’t know the names of the accident victims.

Story Via PennLive.com