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Posts Tagged ‘NC’

$1.5M Settlement on Electrical Injury Case

January 22, 2011 1 comment

Charlotte, NC – The law firm of Warren & Kallianos settled a case for $1,550,000.00 on behalf of a client who sustained severe burn injuries to his lower extremities when a light pole he was erecting came into contact with a high voltage energized power line. The client, who was working for a subcontractor at the time of the incident, sued the upper tier contractors for failing to provide a safe workplace and for violating numerous federal and state safety regulations as well as industry safety standards that led to the electrical burn injuries.

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NC Reports 4 Fatal Electrical Work Accidents

January 14, 2011 Leave a comment

North Carolina – The number of fatal work accidents in North Carolina increased from 34 to 48 in 2010, according to a preliminary report from the state’s Department of Labor.

The leading causes of death were being struck by objects, which resulted in 16 fatalities, and falls, which led to 15 deaths. Four were electrocuted.

The year-end total of 48 is below the state’s five-year average of 53.2

The state’s injury and illness rate is currently at an all time low for private industry. It has declined from 5.3 per 100 fulltime workers in 2000 to 3.1 in 2009.

Fatalities in the manufacturing sector declined from eight to six in 2010. Construction deaths increased by one to 15.

Mecklenburg County experienced the most fatalities with seven. Eight other counties had two fatalities: Beaufort, Burke, Cleveland, Gaston, Guilford, Nash, Pitt and Rowan.

Story via NewsObserver.com

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Copper Thief Killed Trying to Cut Electrical Line

January 8, 2011 Leave a comment

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — With high copper prices offering a tempting incentive to thieves, recent injuries and a death in North Carolina have underlined that the trade in plundered metal isn’t just illegal, it’s potentially fatal.

Thomas Freeman was killed Wednesday in Charlotte when he was electrocuted while trying to cut an electrical cable in a bid to steal copper, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

In Gastonia, police say two men were severely burned last month after an explosion that happened while they were trying to steal copper from an electrical substation.

“Wherever they’re going to get the most money, that’s where they’re going to go to,” regardless of the potential risk, said Gastonia Police Detective H. Houser.

As metal prices rise, police say, copper thefts are increasing. Growing awareness means easier targets like vacant homes and large exterior air conditioning units are getting more scarce, leading thieves to more dangerous targets.

Since the fall, a wave of thefts has been reported across North Carolina, ranging from private homes to churches.

On three occasions between mid-December and this week, thieves struck Gaston Skills, a nonprofit group that provides services to people with mental and physical disabilities in Gaston, Lincoln and Cleveland counties.

Three big air conditioning units were stripped for copper, causing between $45,000 and $50,000 worth of damage, production manager Larry Wayne said.

“They absolutely gutted and destroyed the units,” he said. “It’s a disaster.”

The organization hopes insurance will cover most of the cost of damage, but is looking at $15,000 in out-of-pocket costs to beef up security, bringing in everything from video surveillance cameras to razor wire.

That’s money they’d rather be spending on programs for the 250 or so clients at two facilities.

“It means we have to tighten the belt another notch, I suppose,” Wayne said.

Copper prices actually fell slightly this week, dropping about 8 cents to $4.3295 a pound. After the price climbed by about 33 percent last year, analysts expect that to come down this year as global stockpiles begin to build up again.

At the Salvage America recycling center in Greensboro, though, scrap metal prices still lure thieves trying to make a fast buck, general manager Billy Jones said. Salvage America requires fingerprints and copies of driver’s licenses from members of the public looking to sell scrap metal, Jones said, which should theoretically deter thieves.

“I don’t understand it,” Jones said. “They get caught, I tell them they’re going to get caught, and they still do it anyway.”

Some thieves have even stolen copper from Salvage America and then tried to sell it back to them, Jones said.

“We’re not immune to it,” he said.

Houser said businesses looking to prevent theft should add video surveillance and keep the property lit at night. Most of the homes hit by thieves are vacant, so owners should make sure a house looks occupied even if waiting for tenants or new owners to move in, she said.

Copyright © 2010 Associated Press.
Story via Bloomberg.com

NC Teen Electrocuted Trying to Steal Copper from Substation

December 1, 2010 Leave a comment
LAURINBURG, NC – A Laurinburg teenager was electrocuted while trying to steal copper, officials said.

Jeffery Caleb Frederick, Jr., 18, of Park Drive, received a fatal electric shock while breaking into a power substation near Wagram on Friday, according to Investigator Tina Strickland.

Two of his friends, 20-year-old Howard Worriax, Jr. and 47-year-old Barry Locklear, both of McGirt’s Bridge Road, Maxton, were helping Frederick in the theft attempt, Strickland said.

After Frederick received the high-voltage shock, Worriax and Locklear drug him to Frederick’s Toyota Camry and drove him to the intersection of McGirt’s Bridge Road and Lee’s Mill Road, Strickland said. They placed Frederick in the driver’s seat and walked a mile to their home.

Strickland said the pair never attempted to find medical aid for the 18-year-old and failed to contact authorities.

The pair are charged with concealing or failing to report a death, according to a sheriff’s report.

Bond was set at $20,000 for Locklear, while a bond had not been set by press time for Worriax, according to Strickland.

Strickland said had they called EMS, the pair would only face misdemeanor charges of larceny and trespassing instead of a felony.

She added that the property’s owner could still press charges in the theft.

Sheriff Shep Jones said this adds to a string of unsuccessful attempts at stealing wiring.

“We’ve made several arrests in the past couple of weeks for the theft of copper wire,” he said.

Jones said it was “unfortunate” that someone lost their life while trying to harvest the metal from a live substation.

“Hopefully people can learn from this, that this is not a wise thing to do

and that it’s just not worth it to do something like this.”

He also said he did not know why

“I don’t know if it was panic on their part or what, but unfortunately they did not report it and by not reporting it, they are charged with a felony,” he said.

Jones thought it tragic that a teen lost his life.

“Our prayers go out to the family,” he said.

Lockelar has had more than two dozen prior convictions for charges including breaking and entering, larceny, and receiving stolen goods

Read more: The Laurinburg Exchange – Deputy Teen electrocuted in theft attempt

Man Charged for Copper Theft That Lead to Friend’s Electrocution

December 1, 2010 Leave a comment

RAEFORD, NC – A man is accused of lying to Hoke County lawmen about being with a friend who was electrocuted in August as the two tried to steal copper from a power substation.

Jonathan Tyler Overton, 20, of the 9300 block of Calloway Road in Aberdeen, was charged Tuesday with damaging wires and other fixtures of a telephone, telegraph or electric power company and obstructing justice by filing a false police report, larceny and possessing stolen property.

The incident happened Aug. 14, according to a release from the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office.

William Joshua Reavis, 23, of the 9400 block of Calloway Road in Aberdeen, was found dead at a Lumbee River Electric Membership Corp. substation on North Horace Walters Road, Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said.

At the time, investigators suspected that Reavis was electrocuted while trying to steal copper wire, Peterkin said.

Investigators found that a lock and chain on the high fence around the business had been cut, Peterkin said.

They also said they believed someone else was involved, Peterkin said.

Overton was at the substation when lawmen arrived, Peterkin said, but denied having anything to do with the theft of copper.

Overton later admitted that after Reavis was electrocuted, he removed the copper wiring and cutters that were inside the fence and hid them in tall grass where they were later found, Peterkin said.

Overton’s bail was set at $25,000.

Story via FayObserver.com