Posts Tagged ‘New York’

New York: Arc Flash Injury Leads to $88K in Fines

July 24, 2014 Leave a comment

NY – Another thousand-dollar-fine was issued by OSHA for citing violations on electrical safety and hazardous energy control standards. This time to O’Connell Electric Co., particularly on the May 18 Worker Arc Flash Injury. The incident happened at the North Campus of the State University of New York (SUNY) when O’Connell employees were performing maintenance on 34,500-volt switches while one of the switches had not been de-energized and properly barricaded and tagged to prevent exposure to live electrical parts before they began their work.

“Electricity can injure and kill almost instantly which makes it vital that power sources be de-energized and locked out, and workers be properly trained and equipped before electrical work is performed,” said Arthur Dube, OSHA’s area director in Buffalo. This statement given by Dube clarifies that de-energization, training and PPE have corresponding electrical standards that any company should comply with. O’Connell was not able to meet these standards which led to the $88,200 fine.

Yearly, OSHA never misses to issue citations on companies who violate safety standards. Injuries and unwanted losses usually are the reasons of these citations. It is the employer’s duty to ensure the welfare of your employees. Safety should always be the top priority. As a message to other employers, OSHA’s regional administrator, Robert Kulick said, “One means of preventing hazardous conditions and the accidents that can result from them is to establish an effective safety and health management system through which employers and employees work together to proactively evaluate, identify and eliminate hazards.”

O’Connell Electric has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, participate in an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Let this be a reminder to all other companies to review your safety policies and make sure that they are compliant to state and federal regulations. Review the policies regularly and make sure they are implemented and practiced by all workers. These simple steps can help keep your workplace safe.

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New York: Subcontractor Suffers Burn From Arc Flash

February 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Rochester, NY: A man was injured from an electrical explosion at Advanced Glass Industries Inc. on Emerson Street just before 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

Rural Metro Ambulance Services reported that the man, 57, was taken with flash burn to Strong Memorial Hospital after the explosion, which occurred at 1335 Emerson St. He received burns to 25 percent of his body, mainly to his face, hands and arms, according to Capt. Joseph Luna of the Rochester Fire Department.

The man was a subcontractor who had been hired by the business to do electrical maintenance work, said Rochester Fire Department Battalion Chief Dan Mancuso. He said an arc flash, or an exposed current between two conductors, caused the injury.

Advanced Glass Industries is one of the world’s largest suppliers of precision machined optical glass blanks, molded optical glass blanks and slumped optical glass blanks, according to the company’s web site. The company was founded just after World War II as Fischer Optical, according to the website.

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New York: $147K Settelment for Electrocution Death

January 24, 2014 1 comment

Brooklyn, NY: A  telecommunications company has reached a settlement with OSHA resolving  litigation surrounding the electrocution death of an employee in 2011 in  Brooklyn. Under the agreement, the company will pay a fine of $147,000 and make  changes to its electrical safety training.

OSHA  Regional Administrator Robert Kulick commented, “While no settlement can bring  this worker back to his family, co-workers, and friends, this agreement can help  prevent similar and needless tragedies in the future.”

The  fatality occurred when a field technician came into contact with an energized  power line as he worked from an aerial lift bucket. OSHA determined that field  technicians were not adequately trained, did not wear proper protective gloves,  and did not ground the suspension strand they were installing.

The  settlement was filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission,  which reviews contested cases.

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NY: Buildings Demolished by Electrical Fire

November 15, 2012 Leave a comment

GRANVILLE, NY: Two downtown buildings were heavily damaged by an electrical  fire early Monday that investigators have traced to an electrical problem.

No one was hurt but the fire, which was called in to the fire department at 3:56 a.m., gutted a three-story building at 12 Main St., just east of Scotties’ Coffee Shop. The building housed All in One Exchange, a pawn shop, on the first floor, and at least one apartment upstairs.

A woman and young child lived in an apartment above the pawn shop, and both escaped the building without injuries. It was unclear where they were staying later Monday.

The building next door, a stone-faced former Washington County National Bank building, was also heavily damaged. It was owned by a local artist who uses the two-story structure for a part-time gallery, officials said.

Both buildings were demolished later Monday.

Scotties’ Coffee Shop — a popular gathering spot in the village — appeared to have suffered smoke and/or water damage, Granville Fire Chief Ryan Pedone said.

Owner Tom Scott could not be reached later Monday and it could not be determined when the shop would re-open, but police said late Monday that the damage seemed minimal. The business’ page on Facebook indicated a Wednesday morning re-opening was planned.

“There was very little damage in Scotties’, there was some water in the basement and a faint odor of smoke and the firefighters had to pull down the drop ceiling to check for fire,” Granville Police Sgt. David Williams said.

Firefighters battled flames for more than six hours before the fire was declared out at about 10:30 a.m. Main Street remained closed to traffic through the downtown area into late afternoon. A crowd of onlookers watched from Church Street as the pawn shop building burned and parts of it collapsed.

An electrical problem was found to have caused the blaze. When firefighters arrived, they observed sparking from electrical meters on the back of the All in One Exchange shop, Pedone said. There is a parking lot at the back of the building.

Pedone said the fire was initially reported as a Dumpster fire behind the building, but firefighters found the blaze began in an electrical connection on the building next to where the Dumpster was.

Both buildings were demolished later Monday, after Washington County code enforcement officers reviewed the situation.

The pawn shop building had a “for sale” sign on its east side, and Pedone said a woman who lives in Hawaii owns it.

Fire officials had been unable to contact her or the owner of the other building Monday morning, he said.

Pedone said firefighters did a great job keeping the fire from spreading down the connected commercial block of buildings.

“It was a very impressive stop,” he said. “We’ve had block fires in Granville before and this could have been much bigger.”

An estimated 20 fire companies from around Washington County and western Vermont were called to the scene, and two ladder trucks poured water on the buildings from above.

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USA: Sandy Wreaking Havoc – Electrical Fires Errupting

October 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Washington DC: The destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy mounted Tuesday morning as electrical fires and record power outages added to the misery of devastating flooding in the Northeast.

By early Tuesday, more than 7 million customers shivered without electricity in 10 states and the District of Columbia in Sandy’s chilly wake.

Sandy also claimed at least 16 lives across the United States, bringing the total number of deaths to at least 84 after the storm wreaked havoc in the Caribbean.

The storm sent trees crashing down and left neighborhood streets looking like rivers. Floodwaters rushed into New York’s subway tunnels and ripped up part of Atlantic City’s fabled boardwalk.

Hundreds of people were stranded in one New Jersey town alone Tuesday morning. And Connecticut’s governor offered ominous advice in a Twitter post: “If u find urself surrounded by water, call 4 help if u can, then get 2 highest level of home. Hang a white sheet out a street-side window.”

Authorities scrambled in boats to rescue trapped residents in several towns after a berm broke in Moonachie, New Jersey.

“Within 30 minutes, those towns were under 4 or 5 feet of water,” said Jeanne Baratta of Bergen County police.

Hundreds of people had been rescued Tuesday morning, Gov. Chris Christie said.

“We’ll have to rescue hundreds more,” he said.

Meanwhile, the stench of smoke was blown across flooded streets as fierce winds and rising waters shorted out power lines and sparked fires in places such as Lindenhurst, New York.

At least 50 homes burned to the ground in the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, fire officials said. The cause of the blaze was not immediately released. More than 200 firefighters battled the leaping flames.

Elsewhere in New York City, emergency backup power failed and 10 feet of water flooded the basement of NYU Langone Medical Center, prompting the evacuation of 260 patients. Nurses manually pumped air to the lungs of those on respirators.

Atlantic City, New Jersey, became an extension of the Atlantic Ocean. Seaweed and ocean debris swirled in the knee-deep water covering downtown streets.

Like many New Jersey residents, Montgomery Dahm stared in awe at the feet of water that deluged Atlantic City.

“I’ve been down here for about 16 years, and it’s shocking what I’m looking at now. It’s unbelievable,” he said. “I mean, there’s cars that are just completely underwater in some of the places I would never believe that there would be water.”

Along the East Coast, residents reported images they’d never seen before.

“We just looked out the window, and there’s this river flowing through the middle of Manhattan,” said Earl Bateman, a stockbroker who has lived in New York for 30 years.

More fury to come

But the weather nightmare isn’t over yet.

Forecasters say the entire Northeast corridor of the United States will bear the brunt of Sandy.

Fierce winds will blow from northern Georgia into Canada and as far west as Lake Michigan on Tuesday. Meanwhile, heavy rains will soak New England and parts of the Midwest.

And a blizzard spawned by Sandy will bring 2 to 3 feet of snow to the mountains of West Virginia by Wednesday morning.

“It’s 3 feet of heavy snow. It’s like concrete,” said meteorologist Reed Timmer, who is riding out the storm in Elkins, West Virginia.

Thousands of flights will remain grounded Tuesday. Federal government offices will stay closed. And it will take between 14 hours and four days to get the water out of the subway tunnels in New York.

“The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night,” said Joseph Lhota, chairman of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our entire transportation system, in every borough and county of the region.”

The full scale of Sandy’s wrath has yet to be determined. But according to a government prediction, the storm’s wind damage alone could result in more than $7 billion in economic loss.

Power outages spanned from Virginia to Maine, and the iconic Manhattan skyline turned eerily dark.

“This will be the largest storm-related outage in our history,” said John Miksad, senior vice president of power company Con Edison.

Roaring in

After killing at least 67 people in the Caribbean, Sandy made landfall Monday night in southern New Jersey, sending waves of water into major cities along the East Coast.

Officials blame Sandy for at least 16 deaths in the United States. Several victims, including an 8-year-old boy in Pennsylvania, died after being hit by a tree or tree limb. Another death was reported in Canada, where flying debris struck a woman.

As the devastation spread, President Barack Obama signed major disaster declarations for New Jersey and New York on Tuesday.

Hardik Rajput of Nassau County, New York, couldn’t believe the sight of waves crashing over

the height of cars.

“To be honest, I was just stunned,” he said. “I’ve never seen that. Just to see it on the street level was astounding.”

In New York, Manhattan’s Battery Park recorded a nearly 14-foot tide, smashing a record set by 1960’s Hurricane Donna by several feet.

Five hours after making landfall, Sandy still packed hurricane-force winds as it swirled about 10 miles southwest of Philadelphia.

As residents in New York and New Jersey surveyed the flooding left by Sandy, many discovered their high-rise apartment buildings became islands.

“I am looking outside of my sixth-floor apartment, and I see that a new lake has formed in the parking lot adjacent my building,” New Yorker William Yaeck said. “I would be concerned, but now my building has a view of the river.”

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NY: Crosman Corp fined $148K by OSHA; Lock Out / Tag Out AND Written Electrical Program

October 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Bloomfield, NY: An Ontario County manufacturer is facing proposed fines of $148,000 stemming from inspections conducted after an employee’s finger was allegedly cut off by a machine in March.

Crosman Corp., located in Bloomfield, makes airguns, rifle scopes, sights and archery products.  The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Crosman for 23 alleged serious and repeat violations of workplace safety.  OSHA inspectors found that procedures were not used to prevent a mechanical press from turning on while the worker was setting it up, which resulted in the amputation.

“This incident could and should have been prevented by simply locking out and tagging out the machine’s power source,” OSHA’s area director in Syracuse, Chris Adams, said in an emailed statement.

OSHA officials declined to name the employee who was injured. Laura Evans, Crosman’s marketing coordinator, said the company would have no comment.

The citations include 21 serious violations involving numerous machine and electrical hazards, in addition to missing guardrails on elevated areas, damaged and unstable metal storage racks, a build up of combustible residue, and a lack of eye flushing facilities for employees working with corrosives, according to OSHA documents. The serious violations carry $98,000 in total proposed penalties.

OSHA also issued citations with $50,000 in proposed penalties for two repeat violations: Letting lead to accumulate on surfaces, and failing to develop written electrical safety program to make sure machines don’t power up while employees are setting them up. Similar violations were cited in June 2010.

Crosman officials have 15 business days to pay the fines or notify OSHA that they plan to contest the findings.

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NJ: Sparta Train Station Destroyed in Electrical Fire

September 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Sparta, NJ: The electrical fire that destroyed the historic, 130-year-old Sparta Train Station has been determined to be “not suspicious.”  Investigators have determined that an electrical panel box located on the outside of the building was a contributing factor, according to Sparta Police Sgt. John-Paul Beebe.

The joint investigation is being conducted by Sparta police Detective Sgt. John Schanstra and Detective Jason Garrigan of the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Unit.  The fire was reported at 3:49 a.m. on Sept. 3 by a motorist who saw the flames while traveling north on Route 15, police said. Sparta police were at the station within three minutes of the call, but by then the building was already engulfed in flames.

Firefighters from the Sparta and Ogdensburg fire departments battled the blaze for approximately an hour and a half before finally clearing from the scene at 7:20 a.m., police said.  Built by the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway in 1882, the Sparta station served numerous dairy farms and Sparta’s Ideal Creamery Co. Sparta’s mail was delivered by train to the station, as was everything from coal and ice to cement, according to Beebe.

The station was the last of the 15 stations that were built by the railway in Sussex County. Its water tank, which was not affected by the fire, is the only one left in the county and one of the few left in the state, Beebe said.

The area in which the train station was located has been going through a rebirth after years of neglect, according to Beebe, who said the adjacent property was part of the A.O. Polymer Superfund site that was sold by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to Station Holdings on Feb. 19, 2009. This property now houses the new Sparta Police Athletic League building, Beebe said.

The train station, which also is owned by Station Holdings, was currently being renovated and had just gotten a new roof, and other repairs were under way, Beebe said.

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NY: Electrician Found in Crawl Space: Electrocution

September 5, 2012 Leave a comment
SCARSDALE, N.Y.:  A Connecticut electrician was found dead in a narrow crawl space of a suburban New York home a day after being electrocuted. Police tell The Journal News in White Plains the body of 47-year-old Michael Macol, of Bethel, was found dead on Wednesday in the home in Scarsdale.Police say Macol and a general contractor were working in the home on Tuesday. Police say the general contractor finished his work and left. The Westchester family returned home and saw Macol’s van still in the driveway but they didn’t know why it was still there.

The newspaper says the family called police the next day and an officer using a flashlight spotted Macol’s body in a basement crawl space still holding an electrical wire.

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Union Square Electrical Fire

New York, NY: An electrical fire at the Union Square subway station led to the temporary closing of one block of 14th Street at around 2 p.m.

EV Grieve rounded up photos of the small blaze, which is in a grate beside a subway entrance on the south side of 14th Street between Broadway and Fourth Avenue. The fire was caused by a “service box failure,” a spokesman for Con Edison told The Local. A spokesman told Gothamist, which gathered tweets about the fire, that the cause was “a failure of electrical cables.” No injuries were reported.

A spokesman for the Fire Department told The Local that firefighters had not responded to the fire — though photos say otherwise. In an apparently unrelated call, firefighters did respond to a report of smoke inside the station at around 12:30 p.m., which was caused by the breaks of a train.

The Con Edison employees who tended to the fire were managers filling in for unionized workers, who have been locked out. Recently union members have staged regular protests outside of Con Edison headquarters on Irving Place, though none were gathered today, perhaps due to the rain.

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NY: Construction Accident Lawyer Comments on Hilton Explosion

New York, NY June 20, 2012:  Three people were injured in an electrical explosion at the midtown  Manhattan New York Hilton, reported the New  York Daily News (6/13/2012).

“Any work that’s done with or around electricity can be dangerous.   Surprising to many, only a small quantity of electrical energy is needed to  cause serious injury or death,” said New York construction accident lawyer David Perecman, chairman of the Labor Law committee for the New  York State Trial Lawyers Association and lecturer on construction accident  law.

Two of the people hurt in the blast were workers.  They were working on an  electrical panel in the basement of the hotel at the time of the construction  accident, The New York Daily News said.  One man suffered a head injury.  The other was treated for minor burns to his  hands, reported the tabloid.  A woman who was trapped in the elevator when the power cut off was treated  for hyperventilation.  There were no other injuries in the construction  accident, the New York tabloid said.

As construction accident lawyers at The Perecman Firm understand, New York State and the Occupational Safety &  Health Administration (OSHA) have many rules aimed at keeping New York  construction workers safe.

“If a worker gets hurt because he or she lacked adequate safety equipment or  was not provided with the proper tools, the worker in New York will recover  compensation for damages from the construction accident,” New York construction accident lawyer Perecman, founder of The  Perecman Firm, one of New York’s construction accident law firms, said.

The Perecman Firm serves Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island,  Long Island, Westchester, Upstate NY, Morris County, and Rockland County.

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