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Co-op Line Worker Severely Burned by High Voltage Power Line in AL

December 1, 2011 Leave a comment

CULLMAN, AL — A Cullman Electric Cooperative line worker is receiving treatment for severe burns after coming into contact with a high-voltage power line on the job in the Johnsons Crossing community Wednesday.

The worker, whose name is being withheld at his family’s request, was transported to the burn unit at UAB hospital Wednesday afternoon following the electrical accident, which occurred around 2:15 p.m. No other workers were injured.

Co-op spokesman Brian Lacy said Wednesday the accident occurred during routine work on the cooperative’s distribution lines in the area.

“There were several crews working in the area at the time, and he was by himself in the bucket of a bucket truck when he came into physical contact with the line,” said Lacy.

“His partner on the ground, who had been trained in bucket truck-type rescue procedures, was able to use the bucket controls on the ground to lower him and help get him out of the bucket. He was transported to helicopter to the burn unit at UAB, and he was responsive and able to communicate with paramedics on the ground at the time that he was being loaded into the helicopter.”

The distribution line on which the man had been working carries 7,200 volts of electricity, said Lacy.

Because of the manner in which electrical injuries affect the body, Lacy said it is too early to offer a prognosis on the victim’s long-term prospects for recovery.

“In general, in situations in which electricity passes through the body, a person can have visible burn marks on their skin — but they can also have internal injuries that may take more time to manifest,” he said. “It could really be several weeks until we know. The fact that he is alive is good news, and we are hopeful that the doctors will be able to help him in his recovery, but it is still very early in that process right now.”

While accidents involving high-voltage electrical currents are severe, they are also rare. The last accident in which a Co-op lineman was injured after contact with an energized line occurred more than 10 years ago, in July of 2000.

“We put a major emphasis on safety, and on understanding the dangers involved with electricity,” said Lacy. “It’s so unforgiving — all it takes is one mistake, one time. Our workers are guys who, every single day, put themselves in a position of potential danger. Our guys receive training on site six months out of the year with the safety director of the Alabama Rural Electricity Association, who comes and reinforces the same concepts and procedures these guys have known their entire career. Certainly there’s no one on the face of the earth who has more respect for the power of electricity than an electrical lineman.”

Story via CullmanTimes.com

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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.

Story via TheTimes-Tribune.com

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Firefighters Save Man Shocked by Power Lines

December 30, 2010 Leave a comment

St. Peter, MN – In what proved to be a brief but emotional event, several members of the Kasota Fire and Rescue Department were honored Wednesday evening for helping save the life of a Nicollet man who was electrocuted on October 20.

Le Sueur County Sheriff Tom Doherty and Chief Deputy Dave Tietz were on hand at the Kasota Community Center for a ceremony to honor John Iverson, Donnie Fromm, Bill Connors and members of the Kasota Fire Department for their efforts in saving Steve Barrer of Nicollet.

Barrer, along with Iverson, had been working on some power lines for the city of Kasota at around 2:45 p.m. when he was electrocuted. Barrer was elevated in the bucket of a boom truck while Iverson was down below when the incident happened.

While on the ground, Iverson looked up and noticed that his co-worker was slumped over in the bucket, possibly due to being electrocuted. Iverson then lowered Barrer down to the ground and removed him from the bucket.

Iverson could tell that Barrer was in full cardiac arrest and immediately began administering CPR on him.

Donnie Fromm and Bill Connors happened to be near by when the incident occurred and noticed there was a problem and quickly responded to where Iverson and Barrer were. Connors called for emergency assistance and monitored Steven’s vitals while Fromm helped Iverson with CPR.

Those three continued to provide medical attention to Barrer until the Kasota Fire Department arrived on scene. Once there, firefighters applied the automated external defibrillator (AED) to Barrer. The AED recycled twice and delivered two external shocks to Barrer, after which his heart began to beat once again on its own.

The firefighters continued to monitor Barrer until the ambulance personnel arrived at the scene. Barrer was later transported by Mayo One Air Ambulance to Regions Hospital in St. Paul where he received care and was released the following day without complications.

“I was advised by rescue personnel that following the shock from the AED that Steven  was actually speaking to them before being loaded and air lifted to Regions Hospital,” Doherty said. “I find it amazing that the tools we now have and have had for a long period of time are making the difference between life and death. And the knowledge, training and the willingness to get involved by the public in an emergency situation is incredible.

“I can’t say enough about our fire/rescue and ambulance personnel in Kasota and also throughout LeSueur County that do this on a daily basis without hesitation. Your efforts define the words ‘teamwork’.”

For Barrer, it was obviously an emotional moment for him seeing those responsible for saving his life as he expressed his thanks to each of them after the ceremony.

“I don’t remember anything about that day but eating dinner,” he said during the ceremony.

Kasota Fire Chief Lanny Woods commended his crew for job well done and emphasized how important the work is members of his department do in situations like the one Barrer experienced.

“It’s definitely great to put one in the ‘win’ column for a change,” Woods said. “We’ve had enough bad luck in this town for awhile and it’s nice to see something positive come out of this.”

Kasota Mayor Brett Christensen, whose term expires at the end of 2010, also expressed his thanks for the efforts of those first on the scene and also to his city’s fire department personnel.

“It’s nice to make an exit (as mayor) on such a high note,” Christensen said.

story via St.PeterHerlad.com


2 Men Electrocuted Pruning Trees in Philippines

December 6, 2010 Leave a comment

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Philippines –Two men were electrocuted while pruning trees inside a subdivision in Angeles City on Monday, police said.

Daniel Dolnuan died instantly after the steel boom crane of the Isuzu Elf truck he was driving hit a high voltage wire at 1 p.m., said Chief Inspector Ronald Lorenzo, commander of the Angeles police’s Station 5.

Dolnuan’s companion, identified only as Lucas, tried to pull him out of the truck but he, too, was electrocuted.

The victims were residents of Barangay (village) Anunas, also in Angeles City. Lorenzo said they were hired by the homeowners’ association to trim the trees in the village.

Story via newsinfo.inquirer.net

Electrical Worker in LA Shocked & Burned by Electrical Lines

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Bienville Parish, LA – A Claiborne Electric worker has been flown from Bienville Parish to LSU Hospital in Shreveport by Life Air Rescue. 

According to Bienville Parish Sheriff Office, the Claiborne Electric worker was working on a line on Hwy 516.

The Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Department worked an accident this afternoon involving a Claiborne Electric worker. Twenty-nine-year-old Adam Graves was working on electrical lines on Highway 516 just east of Hwy 371 when a bucket he was in came in contact with the electric lines. He sustained severe burns and is listed in good condition at LSU Medical Center

Story via KSLA.com

Family Sues Verizon & Allegheny Energy After Electrocution

December 1, 2010 Leave a comment

PITTSBURGH, PA – The family of a Monessen man electrocuted nearly two years ago while he installed cable in a Fayette County community has filed a lawsuit claiming he worked in an unsafe environment.

Ralph Greely died Jan. 6, 2009, when a cable was placed too close to energized power lines, creating a deadly arc that struck Greely as he worked in a bucket truck near Simpson Road in Redstone Township.

Greely, 51, worked as an installer for U.S. Utility Contractor Co. of Ellicott City, Md., which was hired by Verizon for the Fayette County job.

In the wrongful death lawsuit, Greely’s family contends Verizon and Allegheny Energy were negligent in allowing the work at that job site to proceed without first cutting the power to those lines.

“Both Verizon and Allegheny knew or should have recognized that the work at this location was likely to create a risk of death or serious harm unless the lines were de-energized or special precautions were taken,” according to the lawsuit.

In the lawsuit, the Greely estate claims that Verizon failed to make sure that power was cut to the lines at the work site, did not provide safe locations where cables could be attached and failed to take other safety precautions.

Allegheny Energy did not cut power to the job site or inspect or assess the location for potential dangers, and failed to provide protective measures, according to the lawsuit.

Verizon spokesman Lee Gierczynski declined to comment on the lawsuit. Allegheny Energy representatives could not be reached for comment.

Greely’s estate is seeking an unspecified amount in compensatory and punitive damages.

Story via PittsburghLive.com

Ferrellgas Fined for High Voltage Electrical Accident in WA

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

AUBURN, WASHINGTON – An Auburn propane company where two men were electrocuted earlier this year has been cited and fined by the state Department of Labor and Industries. According to the Nov. 12 citation, Ferrellgas failed to foresee the danger posed from a high-voltage power line over its property and failed to properly train employees on how to avoid it, the Labor and Industries investigation found.

Specifically, Ferrellgas did not ensure that employees maintained a minimum distance of 10 feet between high-voltage lines and any equipment they were using. Nor did it seek to deactivate the 7,200-volt power line or insulate, the investigation found.

The company was fined $8,400, according to the citation.

Mark Olson, 41, of Auburn, and Scott Pigg, 25, of University Place, Pierce County, were electrocuted May 26 when the tip of the boom truck they were using to move propane tanks around the company yard touched an overhead power line.

Olson had joined the company in January 2006 and worked as a field-installation specialist, setting up propane tanks for customers. Pigg, a material handler, had been working for Ferrellgas since July 2007.

The two men had been involved in the company’s annual inventory in the gas-tank storage yard when the fatal accident occurred, according to Labor and Industries spokesman Hector Castro.

Representatives of Ferrellgas could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

However, Castro said members of the company were “extremely traumatized” by the accident and already had taken measures to eliminate the chance of similar accidents by the time the citation was issued.

“It was very traumatic to them, and they got rid of the crane and moved all the propane tanks away from the power lines,” Castro said. “They just hadn’t realized the hazard the power line posed.”

Story Via Seattle Times