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Posts Tagged ‘minnesota’

MN Boom Lift Operator Electrocuted

May 22, 2012 1 comment

Bemidji, MN:  On May 17th at 11:00 AM, Bemidji Police Officers, along with Bemidji Fire and Bemidji Ambulance personnel, responded to a medical emergency at Acme Tools, located in the 2000 block of 30th St NW in Bemidji. A 49 year old Bemidji man was operating a boom lift when he came in contact with a power line and was electrocuted. Delwin Grage JR was transported to Sanford Medical Center in Bemidji where he was pronounced dead.

Story via Park Rapids Enterprise

MN Electrical Worker Killed while on Scissor Lift

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Nov 2, 2o11 – Sioux Falls, MN – Sioux Falls Police have released the name of a Minnesota electrical worker killed in a job site accident Tuesday morning.

Bruce Lynn Leibfried, 58, of Arko, Minn., was working on a scissor lift at the post office building on 4801 N. Fourth Avenue in Sioux Falls.

He came to work at about 7 a.m. and no one was nearby when the bucket of his crane was lodged between some tubing and a rafter in the ceiling, according to Det. Sean Kooistra of the Sioux Falls Police Department.

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue and Rural Metro ambulance responded to the call of an accident at about 8 a.m. Leibfried was dead at the scene.

Kooistra did not know which company Liebfried was working for.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is expected to conduct an investigation into the incident.

Story via ArgusLeader.com

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

Man in MN Dies After Being Electrocuted at Home

November 6, 2010 Leave a comment

DULUTH, MINNESOTA – A 40-year-old man died after being electrocuted at a home on 15 East and Jefferson in Duluth.

Duluth Police say the man and two others were moving a 40 foot ladder when they were electrocuted. Police don’t know if the ladder came into actual contact with power lines.

The victim was transported by Gold Cross Ambulance to St. Luke’s where he was pronounced dead.

The men had been scraping a friends house getting it ready to paint. Minnesota Power reports the line they came in contact with had 8,000 volts going through it.

The victim’s name is not being released until family members are notified.

Story via NorthlandNewsCenter.com

Autopsy Reveals Minnesota Power Employee Electrocuted in Accident

October 26, 2010 Leave a comment

COOK COUNTY, MINNESOTA – A longtime Minnesota Power employee found dead at a North Shore work site in September was fatally electrocuted, a death certificate filed in Cook County reveals.

Although the death of Kyle Damberg, 47, was deemed an accident, investigation into the workplace circumstances leading to the death are still under way by the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

“It’s still an open investigation; there’s nothing public yet,” said James Honerman, an OSHA spokesman. “We’re looking at the hazards that may have contributed to the death. We have to make sure we’re looking at every aspect of the case before we make any recommendations.”

Damberg’s body was found in a maintenance building under construction near the company’s Taconite Harbor Energy Center in Schroeder on the afternoon of Sept. 3. Damberg, a designer in the engineering services department, was there alone to do a status check on the project. He had worked for Minnesota Power for 23 years.

A visitor to the site to pick up some machinery found Damberg lying on the floor of the building, unconscious and not breathing. He had been dead a couple of hours, Cook County Sheriff Mark Falk said. Initial sheriff’s office reports called it a “sudden death.”

No one witnessed what happened to Damberg, complicating the probe. Dr. Sandra Stover of Grand Marais performed the autopsy and determined the cause of death.

After learning the official cause of death on Monday, Minnesota Power spokeswoman Amy Rutledge declined comment.

“We really can’t comment until we have all the facts,” she said.

From the beginning, Minnesota Power acknowledged the death was a “tragic work site accident.” Besides working with OSHA, the company also hired a third-party investigator to find out what happened.

“We certainly want answers,” Rutledge said.

If OSHA’s investigation determines that hazards existed that contributed to Damberg’s death, penalties could be imposed on Minnesota Power.

Minnesota Power, however, has had a good track record with OSHA, often exceeding basic standards to prevent job-related illnesses and accidents at its work sites, Honerman noted in September.

Story via TwinCities.com

Xcel Energy Worker Shocked by 15,000 Volts at 3M

October 13, 2010 Leave a comment

MAPLEWOOD, MINNESOTA – An electrical worker was taken to the hospital by ambulance after being shocked at 3M headquarters Wednesday morning.

The worker was with Xcel Energy and was hit by about 15,000 volts of electricity at a power substation, where he was working.

According to a company spokesperson, the worker was conscious, breathing and alert when the ambulance departed the scene in Maplewood.

The accident happened at about 9 a.m. and kicked off power at the 3M campus for about a half hour until backup systems could kick back in.

The cause of the electrical shock was not immediately available.

Story via wcco.com

North Branch, MN Man Recovering from Electrical Burns

October 13, 2010 Leave a comment

North Branch, Minnesota – The North Branch Water and Light worker who received burns on his legs from an electrical injury last week is in satisfactory condition and making a rapid recovery, according to Water and Light General Manager Russ Good.

Jamie Monette, 36, of North Branch, had been working on an electrical box Monday afternoon, Sept. 27 on Grand Avenue, a few blocks south of Hwy. 95, until an electrocution call summoned the North Branch Police Department and Lakes Region EMS.

Monette was airlifted by North Memorial Air Care to Regions Hospital in St. Paul where he was initially listed in stable condition.

Now, a week later, “he’s alert, talking and anxious to get well enough to go deer hunting,” said Good, who visited him Monday in the hospital’s burn unit. “Within several weeks he will be released, but he wants to come back to work.”

At the time of the accident, Good explained, Monette and other workers were close to completing an upgrade of the city’s electrical distribution system. And while there is speculation as to what went wrong, he added, the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association has been investigating and is expected to publish its report later this month.

Good, a 42-year veteran in the utility business, can empathize with Monette who doesn’t recall the accident. “I experienced the same thing 26 years ago,” said Good, noting he was unconscious for about seven weeks after his incident. “I had no clue what happened; all I knew was that I was in a hospital room.”

Story via East Central Minnesota Post Review