Posts Tagged ‘ladder’

Nevada: MSHA Issues 135 Citations to Mining Company

February 4, 2014 Leave a comment

ELKO, NV — The Mine Safety and Health Administration said Veris Gold failed to protect employees from harm at the company’s Jerritt Canyon Mill, after issuing 61 citations and orders to the site.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s MSHA announced the results of the December inspections Wednesday. The inspectors issued 135 citations, 24 orders and one safeguard during special impact inspections conducted at 11 coal mines and two metal and nonmetal mines.

The two highlighted properties in the inspection report were Jerritt Canyon and Hanover Resources LLC’s Caymus Mine in Boone County, W. Va. Caymus Mine produces coal.

“These two examples clearly indicate that some mine operators still don’t get it,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “They simply failed to comply with the Mine Act and find and fix hazards to protect miners from injury, illness and death.”

Veris Gold said “Jerritt Canyon takes all citations and actions from MSHA seriously and its management has been working with them diligently to review all claims. As of January 16, 2014, all citations and actions have been either acknowledged or met.

“It is important to note that the Jerritt Canyon Operations has an exemplary safety record with no fatalities since it began operating in 1982. Safety is our priority, and we will continue to work with MSHA in order to continue to ensure the safety of all employees.

“Recently, Veris Gold USA initiated a Safety Enhancement Program that is the personal responsibility of Graham Dickson, COO. This program will ensure that all employees remain secure at work and return home safely to their families at the end of the day.”

Jerritt Canyon received 49 citations and 12 orders after its inspection that began on Dec. 16. Veris Gold owns the Jerritt Canyon Mill Complex, which is 50 miles north of Elko and has more than 120 employees. The complex property includes three gold mines: Smith, SSX-Steer and Starvation Canyon.

According to the federal agency, “among the hazardous conditions cited during the inspection, MSHA found that an electrician working in the crusher area had been cleaning and performing maintenance on a 480-volt fully-energized switch gear, and there were spent mercury containers found at the bottom of wet mill stairs rather than being stored in a manner that would protect miners from mercury exposure. Nearly four feet of dirt had accumulated on the left side of a conveyor belt, blocking access to the steps and catwalk used to reach the plant and potentially hindering escape during an emergency.

“Inspectors also found: a chemical container improperly labeled; no warning signs for hazardous chemical storage; several unsecured gas cylinders; no provision for safe access in several locations; missing electrical cover plates on energized outlets; an improperly grounded cable; unlabeled breakers that exposed miners to electrical hazards; a broken ladder and insufficient illumination; failure to conduct workplace exams and air receiver tanks equipped with the wrong size pressure relief valves, creating the potential hazard of an exploding vessel.”

On Dec. 19, while MSHA inspectors were still on site, an electrical explosion and subsequent fire injured two employees in the mill.

The employees were injured after an arc flash and minor fire, said Shaun Heinrichs, chief financial officer for Veris Gold.

“One employee was airlifted with burns and another was taken into Elko with smoke inhalation,” Heinrichs told the Free Press in December. “Our thoughts are with our employees and their families. Safety is our utmost priority.”

Tim Woolever, Nevada Division of Forestry chief for the northern region, responded to the scene to handle the fire. He believed at least one of the men injured was an electrician who was working on a 480-volt panel.

MSHA inspected the Caymus Mine on Dec. 11 and issued 13 violations. The inspection party monitored the mine’s communication system to prevent advance notice of their arrival, and they proceeded to inspect the mine’s two working sections and a large portion of the conveyor belt. MSHA issued seven unwarrantable failure orders and six citations. This was the first impact inspection at this mine.

Since April 2010, MSHA has conducted 700 impact inspections and issued 11,562 citations, 1,076 orders and 49 safeguards.

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NM: Tree Trimmer Avoids Electrocution

January 9, 2013 Leave a comment


The tree trimmer involved in two serious accidents on the job in six months told KFOX14 he doesn’t plan to quit his job any time soon and plans to return to work as soon as Thursday.

“I feel lucky because I should be dead or something like that a couple times over,” Craig Benavidez said. “It’s a good thing to be alive.”

Benavidez, 52, was shocked by a power line Monday while he was trimming branches for an O’Donnell Drive home.

Benavidez was lowered to safety by a rescue team with the Las Cruces Fire Department after dangling from a tree about 30 feet above ground.  Benavidez was flown to University Medical Center in El Paso in critical condition, but Wednesday he told KFOX14 his injuries are minimal.  “I have scratches on my head and some electrical blowouts from my feet,” Benavidez said.   Benavidez said he has no memory of the incident or how it happened.  “Waking up in the hospital, that’s all I remember,” Benavidez said.  Monday’s incident was the second major accident on the job Craig has been involved with in the past six months.

In July, Benavidez was attacked by a swarm of Africanized bees.  During his 32-year career as a tree trimmer, Benavidez said he’s had some other minor accidents but nothing like he’s endured recently.   “I just have to look a little bit closer and be a little more careful. A lot more careful,” Benavidez said.  When asked why he planned to get back to work as a tree trimmer, Benavidez told KFOX14 he couldn’t imagine earning his living any other way.

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Trinidad and Tabago: T&TEC Electrician Electrocuted

August 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Penal, Trinidad and Tobago: A 46-YEAR-old Penal electrician died yesterday after he was electrocuted while working on a lamp post at Point Fortin.  Gayadeen Lookhoor, of Ramjohn Trace, was said to have suffered an electrical shock while he was descending a pole and fell off a ladder. Lookhoor and other employees of N and S Electrical Contractors, of Penal, were changing conductors and isolating lines along the Dunlop stretch in the vicinity of the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) sub-station.

Police were told around 8.55 a.m. Lookhoor was descending a lamp post when his shoulder touched a live wire.  He fell off a ladder and fell 20 feet to the ground.  An ambulance took him to the Point Fortin Health Facility where he was pronounced dead on arrival.   Corporate Communications manager at T&TEC Annabelle Brasnell stated in a release that T&TEC has appointed a five-member committee to investigate the fatal accident.  Lookhoor’s death follows three other fatal incidents involving electricians working on T&TEC lines.

Last September, T&TEC craftsman trainee Richie Rivers, 23, was electrocuted while working on the Eastern Main Road, Tunapuna. Rivers, of Rio Claro, was working on an electricity pole when he was electrocuted and he fell 20 feet to the ground. Then on January 10, Ghanaian national Samuel Ownsu also died from electrocution. A week later, electrical linesman Gary Patterson, 42, died while on duty at Siparia.

The Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU) is expected to hold a press conference on the issue of fatal accidents at the workplace today at its headquarters at Paramount Building, Circular Road, San Fernando.

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Company Fined When Worker is Shocked

March 14, 2012 Leave a comment

United Kingdom –  A company has been fined after a worker suffered an electric shock at work.

Krzysztof Jabczanik was working at the site of a storage company when the accident happened in August 2010. He was undertaking maintenance work to repair an external flood light.

However, Mr Jabczanik suffered a serious electric shock injury from a junction box unit. He was rushed to hospital, and placed in an induced coma. He was left with serious burn injuries to his left hand, and also suffered from memory loss from the electric shock.

The Health and Safety Executive investigated the accident and found numerous errors in what should have been a routine job. The accident was caused because the cover to the junction box had been removed before the electricity supply had been isolated.

The HSE prosecuted Mr Jabczanik’s employers (Fras Contractors Ltd) and its managing director (Adam Fras). They found that Mr Fras – who is a registered electrical engineer and was supervising the work – did not do enough to protect his worker from harm.

He pleaded guilty last week to breaking Electricity at Work Regulations and was fined £1,000. Fras Contractors Ltd were fined £1,500 for unsafe use of a ladder in regards to the accident.

Landscaper Electrocuted in Bermuda

January 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Prembroke, Bermuda – In a tragic start to the Christmas holiday, an 18-year-old Pembroke, Kevin Ledo, man died this afternoon [Dec.24] after receiving an electrical shock.

The police have now confirmed the death of the 18-year-old landscape worker following an accident at 11.45am today at a Smiths Avenue, Warwick residence. Police said there does not appear to be any suspicious circumstances, however an autopsy is anticipated.

Police confirm that he was working as a landscaper when he received an electrical shock. He was rushed to hospital via ambulance, where he unfortunately succumbed to his injuries.

The Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service, the Police and an ambulance all responded immediately after the accident. Police secured the scene, with crime scene tape surrounding a ladder and a hedge.

A police spokesperson said, “Around 11:45am on Saturday, December 24th police responded to a reported industrial accident at a Smiths Avenue, Warwick residence. It appears that a landscaper was carrying out work on the property when he received an electrical shock.

“On police arrival EMTs were already at the scene performing CPR on the victim, an 18 year old Pembroke man. The victim was then taken to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital via ambulance, where he was subsequently pronounced dead at 1:20pm by an on call physician.

“There does not appear to be any suspicious circumstances; however an autopsy is anticipated and inquiries are ongoing. No further information will be released until the next of kin have been notified,” concluded the police spokesperson.

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Note from blogger:  The picture below is from Bernews.  The picture shows a conductive ladder with long-handeled trimmer at it’s base and power lines above.  The minimum clearance from the power lines should be 10′. with any tools.

3 Roofers Shocked & Burned by High Voltage Wire in WV

December 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Bramwell, WV –   Three men repairing a roof at one of Bramwell’s historic homes were electrocuted Monday morning after high winds blew their ladder into a high-tension line. (note from blog editor – “electrocuted” is not being properly used here by the reporter.  Electrocuted means they have deceased by an electric shock, which these men did not.  The men were shocked and burned, but were not electrocuted).

The three men, who suffered second- and third-degree burns to their feet, were on the ground but conscious when emergency personnel arrived on scene, Bramwell Fire Chief Joe Miller said. All three were transported by the Bluefield Rescue Squad to Bluefield Regional Medical Center. Miller said the men’s injuries were not believed to be life threatening.

Story via Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Arc Flash Injures Electrical Worker in St. Kitts

January 13, 2011 Leave a comment

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – THE man who was injured yesterday evening (Jan. 11) while working on the building that houses the Polo Company at the junction of Fort and Central Streets, was this morning discharged from the JNF Hospital.

Speaking with SKNVibes, Wenworth Richardson of Taylors Range said while on his way to make a purchase at City Drug Store, the Manager of Polo Company asked for his assistance in the rectification of a problem. 

“I was walking along Fort Street when the Manager of the Polo Company stopped me and asked if I work at the Electricity Department. I said yes and then he asked if I can help in stopping the cable wire on his building from sparking. I told him that I can but would have to return to my car to get my tools and will do so after I would have completed making a purchase at City Drug Store. I then returned and took my equipment from the back of my car and proceeded up the ladder. I was just examining the cable wire when I heard a loud blast. I had my glasses at the time on my head and the sound caused it to fall over my eyes. I immediately bent my head after the blast, as my experience taught me that my first priority was to protect my eyes,” Richardson said.
The Electricity Department Supervisor and second in charge of the Transmission and Distribution Section, added that he felt a burning sensation in his eyes and on his face and decided to get off the ladder.

He said that on reaching the sidewalk he could not see properly and someone helped him into his car and took him to the hospital.

Asked why he had decided to assist the manager when he knew the problem was not a fault of the Electricity Department, Richardson said, “I could not just continue on my way when someone reported a matter and I could have dealt with it. So I stopped to help and while I got a few burns I believed that I did the right thing.”

Superintendent of Transmission and Distribution, Nubian Greaux said that the injured Richardson has been employed at the Electricity Department for some 18 years. He pointed out that because of Richardson’s experience and versatility, he has been moved around to various sections in the department.

Greaux said Richardson had suffered an “arc flash, which he explained is produced by short circuit current that is generally used in welding.  According to the National Electrical Code Internet Connection, “Arc Flash is the result of a rapid release of energy due to an arcing fault between a phase bus bar and another phase bus bar, neutral or a ground.”

The Superintendent stated that a lot of misinformation was being circulated that Richardson was at fault. He however declared that an investigation revealed Richardson had followed the correct procedures.

“He did nothing wrong and he was well protected. He had on all the required gear including for his eyes and hands. The arc flash is a fire that burns easily, and it is important to note that Mr. Richardson did not suffer any shocks but was burnt by the fire from the arc flash.”

He also stated that arc flashes are generally not fatal but they have the capacity to cause one to die.

“We have never had any fatality from the arc flash here in St. Kitts and Nevis but I know that in other countries there have been fatalities,” he said.

Greaux claimed that he was not surprised by the incident because arc flashes are frequent and they are the primary cause of electrical fires.

“Arc flashes are what result in many electrical fires. However, because of the location and the fact that there was significant paint and concrete, it resulted in a fire not being ignited. If it was left for an extended period with old papers and wood in closed places, it could lead to an electrical fire,” he said.

Greaux said when he visited Richardson at the hospital sometime after 8.30 last night he was well but in some amount of discomfiture. “His face at around 8.30 p.m. was still very hot. The only injury he sustained were some burns on his left arm and this was because he was holding the pliers with that hand when he had the arc flash. But he is okay and should be released sometime today from the hospital,” he said.

He added that the misinformation circulated by members of the public created undue alarm, noting that “there were so many different accounts of what really happened”.

Greaux said Richardson should not be blamed for the mishap because “the situation resulted because the Cable installation wires were not good enough and this created the problem”.

Bloggers Note:  Electrical Arc Flash accidents happen every day in the US and unlike the statements made in the article, they are something to be very concerned about.  Proper protective equipment on the electricians face would have limited the amount of burns he endured. 

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Man Electrocuted Cutting Down Trees

January 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Northern Territory, Australia –  Police say it seems the electrocution of a man in Darwin’s rural area yesterday was a tragic accident.

The 66 year-old man was cutting down trees in Thornbill Crescent in Howard Springs.

Duty Superintendent Bob Rennie says some branches fell across nearby power lines.

“He attempted to clear the trees by climbing a ladder but tragically it appears the ladder sank into the wet ground and earthed, killing this poor gentleman,” Supt Rennie said.

Story via ABCNET.AU

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Fire Department / Utilities Discuss Power Lines

January 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Fire Department & Utility Discuss Delays in Shutting Down Power Lines after 2009 Electrical Accident of Fireman


Scranton, PA – Representatives from the Scranton Fire Department and PPL Electric Utilities met last week to discuss solutions to the issue of PPL’s sometimes-belated response to fires and plan to meet again next week.

Scranton Deputy Fire Chief Allen Lucas said the meeting Wednesday at PPL’s facility on Larch Street aimed to “pinpoint deficiencies on both ends.”

What Deputy Chief Lucas called a “brainstorm session” produced “a lot of good ideas,” though the two plan to meet again next week along with representatives of the Lackawanna County Communications Center to iron out the details of proposed pilot programs, he said.

“We’re going to try to design some new procedures to put in place that, hopefully, might be the catalyst for the entire county to try and improve all of the deficiencies,” Deputy Chief Lucas said.

The issue came to a head after a Dec. 16 fire at Pittston Avenue and East Elm Street. Fire Chief Tom Davis raised concerns about PPL’s response to that fire, citing a nearly 40-minute delay in shutting off electrical lines after the arrival of the first fire crews.

PPL spokesman Richard Beasley said at the time that the utility company felt its 25-minute response from when its records show it was notified of the fire was “timely.”

While no one was hurt as a result of the delay, it would not have been the first time if someone had been.

On Jan. 6, 2008, city fire Capt. James Robeson was electrocuted when the ladder truck bucket he was in came into contact with a 12,400-volt overhead power line while fighting a fire on Ash Street.

Findings from a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health released in 2009 found mixed communication between PPL and the Fire Department helped cause the devastating accident. The utility company reported the power lines were de-energized, but the Fire Department did not verify which lines had been de-energized, the report found.

“The biggest thing is just going to be in communication and timely communication on both ends,” Deputy Chief Lucas said of last week’s meeting. “It all comes down to communication.”

Mr. Beasley agreed with Deputy Chief Lucas’ assessment of the discussion.

“The overall emphasis is going to focus on how to communicate better, making sure that all parties know what’s expected of them and how to best meet those expectations,” said Mr. Beasley, who was at the meeting.

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Electrician Killed on Job Repairing Street Light

January 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Northampton, UK – A HEALTH and safety investigation has been launched following the death of an electrician who was killed while carrying out a routine job yesterday.

It was thought Christopher Partridge, aged 55, from Northampton, was electrocuted as he fixed a street light inside the entrance of Blisworth Park, a mobile home site in Blisworth Arm.

He fell from a ladder yesterday lunchtime and hit his head on the ground, where he was pronounced dead by police.

Police cordoned off the area while representatives from Environmental Health and the Health and Safety Executive began an investigation.

The man had been an electrician for 15 years on-and-off at the site, which houses around 80 homes.

Detective Sergeant Tony Barsby, in charge at the scene, said: “The deceased was an electrician and had been working with another man who was holding the bottom of the ladder at the time.

“He had gone up the ladder to repair a light, when for reasons unknown, the light sparked and electrocuted him. He fell down and hit his head on the kerb.

“We are treating it as non-suspicious. It was a tragic accident.”

South Northants Council confirmed that an investigation into the death is now being carried out.

A spokesman said: “We are carrying out an investigation into this tragic incident and our heartfelt thoughts go out to the family and friends of the deceased.

“The investigation involves taking witness statements, assessing what happened and making sure the site is immediately safe.

“Our priority is to make sure this does not happen again, determine if there was a breach of any health and safety laws, and implement our enforcement policy if necessary.

“As this is an ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

A shocked resident said the death was likely to upset neighbours who had grown close with the park’s staff.

Janet Smith, aged 48, said: “It’s awful news.

“We are a close community here, and it is a lovely quiet area.

“This is a real shock and it will be very saddening to all the neighbours here.”

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