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MA: OSHA Cites Electrical Contractor

ANDOVER, Mass. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Interstate Electrical Services, a North Billerica electrical contractor, for alleged willful and serious violations following a November 2011 arc flash blast at an Andover jobsite. Two workers installing electrical service were seriously burned when a piece of equipment made contact with an energized part of an electrical panel, resulting in the arc flash.

OSHA’s Andover Area Office determined that the energized electrical panel was not effectively guarded to prevent workers from coming in contact. As a result of this condition, OSHA issued a willful citation, with a $70,000 fine. 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.
OSHA also issued the contractor two serious citations, with $11,000 in fines, for additional electrical hazards posed by a damaged power cord and an energized electrical wire that was not protected against damage. 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.
Electricity can injure or kill workers in seconds. It is imperative for employers to ensure all necessary safeguards are in place and in use to prevent incidents like this from occurring,” said Jeffrey A. Erskine, OSHA’s area director in Andover.
Interstate Electrical Services has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Story via OSHA.

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Electrical Fires Causes $500K in Damages to Boston High Rise Building

October 19, 2010 Leave a comment

BOSTON, MASSACHUSSETS – An electrical fire erupted today in a Financial District high-rise building, causing $500,000 in damage, fire officials said.

The fire started at 4:55 a.m. on the 16th floor of 125 High St., said Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald.

The fire triggered the building’s sprinkler system, which caused extensive water damage, MacDonald said.

“Several floors got water damage,” MacDonald said.

An electrical short circuit caused the fire, MacDonald said. Firefighters cleared the scene at 6:30 a.m., he said.

New York-based Tishman Speyer is the property’s rental agent

Story via Boston Herald

Body Found Below High Voltage Power Lines in MA

October 18, 2010 Leave a comment

HEATH, MASSACHUSETTS – Authorities think a man whose burned body was found lying below high-voltage power lines in Heath was electrocuted when he climbed one of the towers.

Heath Fire Chief Michael Smith said his department received a call from a motorist just before noon on Monday to report a brush fire near the power lines. Responding firefighters found a burned body at the foot of a tower.

Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel tells The Recorder of Greenfield that National Grid workers found charring about 80 feet up the tower, indicating that somebody had climbed to that height.

A National Grid spokesman said the lines carry 115,000 volts.

Authorities have not released the man’s identity and are still trying to determine why he climbed the tower.

Story via Boston.com