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Louisiana: Worker Killed in Louisiana Electrical Accident

February 17, 2014 Leave a comment

Benton, LA: The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is now investigating the electrical accident that injured two men and killed one on the grounds of a Bossier Parish park.

The man fatally injured in an electrical accident Thursday morning in Benton has been identified as 34-year-old Brandon Beaver of Shreveport.

According to the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office, Beaver was one of 3 men injured while working on a ground-level transformer Thursday morning at Cypress Black Bayou Park.

Lt. Bill Davis says the men were taken to local hospitals shortly after rescuers were called around 11:30 a.m. Thursday for a report of a possible electrocution at the park.

As additional details begin to emerge, it appears that there had been some electrical issues at the park. 2 contractors were working on it when park director Robert Berry happened to walk by and realize they were in distress.

According to park office personnel, the contractors had been gripped by the current flowing from a live power line through their bodies. Berry reportedly shoulder-checked them from the line, injuring himself in the process.

911 was called, and a park staffer attempted CPR on the victims. Their names have not been released.

1 of the contractors was taken to University Health, his injuries are considered non life-threatening. Beaver and another were taken to Willis Knighton North. Initially KSLA News 12 was told by the Bossier Sheriff’s Office that Beaver was rushed to University Health but that detail has since been retracted.

Bossier Sheriff’s investigators say they have deemed the incident a tragic accident.

OSHA arrived at the park around 1 o’clock Friday afternoon. Juan Rodriguez with OSHA’s public affairs office says investigators with OSHA will interview witnesses and employees, and look for any OSHA violations at the area where the accident happened.

Story Via: www.ksla.com

 

Iowa: I-OSHA Cites Electrician Company After 5 Workers Hospitalized

February 4, 2014 Leave a comment

Sibley, Iowa — Iowa safety officials have cited a Sibley electrician business for violations that occurred when a flash explosion sent five people to a hospital in July, 2013.

The Iowa Division of Labor Services Occupational Safety and Health Bureau, or I-OSHA says the accident happened when workers were switching over electric lines at Timewell Drainage in Sibley.

Three entities have now been cited, including the City of Sibley Electric Department, Timewell, and now Current Electric of Sibley.

According to the citation, the issue occurred when workers were installing new electrical wiring to an 800 amp interior panel board. They say work was being performed while the wiring was energized and people were allowed in the immediate area without personal protective equipment.  After installation of wiring to the panel board, the employer was confirming that proper function of the equipment had been achieved.  They say lock and tagout was not applied ensuring that the equipment was not energized prior to installation of the panel cover.  They say people were in the immediate area and were exposed to an arc flash and/or arc blast, and life-threatening injuries were sustained.

I-OSHA says that Current Electric should have conducted frequent and regular inspections of job sites, materials, and equipment. They also allege that Current Electric did not instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the applicable regulations.

Last fall, Timewell Drainage was cited for not instructing their employees in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions, and for employees not wearing personal protective equipment.

Also last fall, the City of Sibley Electric Department was cited in connection with the incident.  I-OSHA says controls deactivated during the course of work on energized or de-energized equipment or circuits were not tagged on the worksite involving the energizing and deenergizing of a transformer with an incoming line voltage of thousands of volts.

When more than one independent crew requires the same line or equipment to be deenergized, the law requires a prominent tag for each such independent crew to be placed on the line or equipment by a designated employee in charge, and according to I-OSHA, that didn’t happen

Story Via: kiwaradio.com

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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.

Story Via: safety.blr.com

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India: 1 Electrocuted, 1 Seriously Burned

India: Deedar Singh (57), a resident of Jastna Khurd village near Lalru and a POWERCOM employee, lost his life by getting an electric shock while working on an electricity pole near Chaudheri village in Lalru on Saturday. Jasbir Singh, another lineman accompanying him, sustained serious injuries during the incident.

According to POWERCOM’s SDO Kehar Singh, the two linemen were sent to conduct the repair work at Chaudheri village on Saturday.

The electricity supply to the line had been discontinued for repair and their fuse uninstalled, but due to heavy storms and rain during the day, the fuse got connected and current passed through the line due to which Deedar Singh sustained the shock, said the SDO.

Jasbir Singh was referred to GMCH-32 where his condition is said to be stable and the body of the deceased has been sent to Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi for conducting the postmortem while further proceedings have been initiated, said the police.

Story via indianexpress.com

Australia: Power Company Charged over Electrocution of 17 Year Old Girl

January 9, 2013 Leave a comment

Geraldton, Autralia: The state’s energy watchdog has charged Western Power over the electrocution of a 17-year-old girl in Geraldton.

Amber Finch died after she was struck by a damaged power line left dangling by a storm, while walking home with friends in the dark in January 2011.

Two friends who tried to help her were also injured.

Energy Safety has charged Western Power under electricity network safety regulations and the matter is due in the Geraldton Magistrates Court in April.

Story via Yahoo! News

NV: Arc Flash Injures Worker

October 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Las Vegas, NV: An NV Energy worker was rushed to the hospital Friday evening after an electrical box exploded near Washington Avenue and Cimarron Road.

Three NV Energy employees were working on the box just after 5:45 p.m. when they came into contact with electricity and an arc flash occured.

Only one worker took a serious jolt. He was taken to UMC Trauma for treatment for burns. He is conscious, talking, and is expected to recover.

“We got multiple 911 calls that they heard a big boom and they heard somebody screaming. Apparently it was the worker who was hurt,” said Las Vegas Fire and Rescue spokesperson Tim Szymanski.

Any areas that lost power as a result of the explosion have since had it restored. The accident will be investigated by NV Energy.

This is the second accident involving NV Energy workers this week. On Tuesday, a lineman fell to his death from a platform.

Stroy via fox5vegas.com

WA: Copper Theives Risk Electrocution

October 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Spokane, WA:  Thieves in northern Idaho and eastern Washington state are still targeting copper wire for the scrap market despite lower metal prices and electrocution risks, power company officials say.  Officials tell The Spokesman-Review that thieves cause higher electricity bills for customers and endanger the public by leaving live wires. Dan Kolbet, communications manager for Avista Utilities, said thieves have cut down live lines and climbed substation fences to steal equipment that could kill them.

“In the substation, it’s scary dangerous for the folks doing it, because if they cut the wrong wire they’re dead in about that fast,” Kolbet said, snapping his fingers.

Shawn Dolan is the manager of engineering at Kootenai Electric Cooperative, based in Hayden in northern Idaho.

“They’re not getting a lot of money for the damage they’re doing,” he told The Spokesman-Review.

He said the company recently discovered copper grounding wire, worth about $200 on the scrap metal market, missing from about 60 poles in rural areas north and south of Coeur d’Alene. He said it will cost about $10,000 to replace ground wires, with ratepayers paying for the thefts.

He also said the missing grounding wire means line crews don’t have a safety guard to tie into while working on the poles. And if a storm or car crash knocks down a pole, the wires might not de-energize properly. In addition, voltage fluctuations can be caused by improperly grounded power lines that can damage home electronics.

“For 200 bucks, what they’re doing is risking our workers’ safety, their lives. They could kill a lineman,” Dolan said. “They’re also potentially damaging other people’s electrical appliances.”

“That’s what amazes us more than anything,” said Pat Osborn, supply chain supervisor at Inland Power & Light Co., a rural electric co-op serving areas outside Spokane. “You look at minimum wage in Washington, and these guys could work an eight-hour shift and make quite a bit more.”

Jim Schrock of Earthworks Recycling in Spokane said he pays about $2.75 a pound for good copper, down from $3.30 two years ago. Both Idaho and Washington state have laws intended to deter metal thieves.

“We probably kick out six to 10 people a week,” said Schrock. “We basically say don’t come back and tell all your friends not to come in, because they’re acting squirrelly or they’re on a list where they’ve been convicted of crimes, or they’re trying to skirt the metal law.”

Story via seattletimes.com

 

MD: More on “Smart Meter” Electric Fires

September 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Baltimore, MD:  The move­ment gath­ers out­side the Schae­fer Build­ing on August 28.  Hold­ing a sign decry­ing smart meters—the new “advanced” elec­tri­cal coun­ters util­i­ties around the coun­try are installing on people’s homes—is the last place George Karadi­mas expected to be dur­ing his retirement.  “I never knew any­thing about these things until March, April of this year,” the for­mer elec­tri­cal engi­neer and Elli­cott City res­i­dent says. “Then I hap­pened to get on an inter­net radio show about prob­lems peo­ple were hav­ing down in Texas, peo­ple who I hap­pened to per­son­ally know. So I lis­tened and I said ‘you’re off the wall.’ Then I stud­ied it and I started freak­ing out myself.”

Karadi­mas was among about two dozen anti-smart meter activists who packed a hastily-convened meet­ing of the Mary­land Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion August 28. The com­mis­sion, hav­ing read about smart meter electrical fires in Penn­syl­va­nia and PEPCO Energy Group’s deci­sion to sus­pend instal­la­tion of them, asked Mary­land util­i­ties for infor­ma­tion on their smart meter programs.  “This is a pre­lim­i­nary gath­er­ing,” PSC Chair­man Dou­glas Nazar­ian told the crowd in the 16th floor hear­ing room. “We’re not going to hear from other par­ties today.”

That dis­pleased the activists, one of whom, Har­ford County State Del­e­gate Glen Glass, issued a press release after­ward express­ing his dis­ap­point­ment. “The tes­ti­mony from BG&E and PEPCO con­firms that Smart Meters are dan­ger­ous, intru­sive, and have a ten­dency to break and over­heat,” Glass’s email said. “I call for a mora­to­rium to be placed on Smart Meter instal­la­tion due to these facts as well as reports that fires have been a result of these devices.”

The anti-smart-meter move­ment has been build­ing for sev­eral years, made up of peo­ple wor­ried about microwave radi­a­tion (“I’m chem­i­cally and electro-mechanically sen­si­tive,” one activist says) and the loss of pri­vacy inher­ent in the hourly read­ings the new meters will broad­cast back to the util­ity. The meters are meant to pave the way for per-hour changes in elec­tric­ity pric­ing and goad cus­tomers into reduc­ing their usage dur­ing higher-priced times of the day. That ele­ment of the plan—and the fact that it would shift the risk of higher energy prices from the util­ity (which was con­ceived in part to mit­i­gate that risk) to the cus­tomer base (which pays the util­ity to man­age that risk)—has been sel­dom crit­i­cized by the move­ment. The fires are a new thing.

Util­ity rep­re­sen­ta­tives told the com­mis­sion they had not expe­ri­enced any fires from the smart meter instal­la­tions yet, although BGE has installed 65,000 of the binder-sized devices, PEPCO about 186,000.  BGE has replaced five meters that sig­naled high tem­per­a­tures (just under the boil­ing point of water), but has had no fires and no fail­ures, says Michael Butts, BGE’s direc­tor of busi­ness trans­for­ma­tion. Three of the hot meters had “loose jaws,” he said—the con­nec­tors where the new meters meet the elec­tri­cal box on the house.

Nei­ther com­pany uses the brand of meters—Sensus—that burned in Penn­syl­va­nia and which are sub­ject to a whistle­blower law suit in Alabama.

PEPCO had 15 over­heaters, and no fires, Karen Lefkowitz, PEPCO’s vice pres­i­dent of busi­ness trans­for­ma­tion said. Most of the prob­lems there were at the con­nec­tion to the house. “It’s the exchange process that intro­duces some risk,” she told the commissioners.

The old meters are taken out “hot”—with the power still run­ning. Then the new meters are plugged in. The sock­ets in the houses, some of which may be decades old, do not always take kindly to such tam­per­ing. If the power going through them at the time of the swap is high, it may arc, pit­ting the wires and caus­ing a hot spot. If the arc­ing continues—or starts up later because of a loose connection—the new meters, which are mostly plas­tic, can burst into flames.

It’s rare, but it happens.

“I have an unbi­ased opin­ion. I’m for tech­nol­ogy. But the way this tech­nol­ogy has been imple­mented has caused a dis­as­ter,” Karadi­mas says.

Story via citypaper.com

 

OMAN: 2 Workers Electrocuted

September 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Muscat, Oman: The Muscat Electricity Distribution Company (MEDC) has blamed civil contractors for the electrocution of two workers, who fell on overhead power lines in Mabella area recently.  “The two workers were electrocuted when the scaffolding they were moving fell on an overhead line in Mabella,” according to a press release issued by the MEDC.  Following this incident, the MEDC has advised civil contractors, especially those working near overhead lines, to adhere strictly to safety measures.

According to the preliminary reports, the incident occurred when the scaffolding that was being moved by the workers fell on the 11KV lines, causing a direct contact to ground.

ttp://gulfnews.advertserve.com/servlet/click/zone?zid=998&pid=0&custom5=Gulf&custom6=Oman&lookup=true&position=1″ target=”_top”>< IMG src=”http://gulfnews.advertserve.com/servlet/view/banner/image/zone?zid=998&pid=0&custom5=Gulf&custom6=Oman&position=1&#8243; height=”” width=”” hspace=”0″ vspace=”0″ border=”0″ alt=”Click Here!”>< /A>“Lack of proper safety training led to the labourers’ ignorance of the dangers of a high scaffolding toppling onto overhead lines,” Majid Al Rahbi, electrical safety engineer at MEDC, said in the press release.“It was extremely dangerous to try to move scaffolding of that height when it is erected closed to overhead lines without partly dismantling it into manageable sections,” he explained.

Sultan Al Hinai, Health and Safety Awareness-in-charge at the MEDC, lashed out at the contractors for their ‘negligence’. “The two workers were not following basic safety procedures. Every worker has a responsibility to work safely and as an employer, the company has to bear responsibility to look after the safety of its workers on site,” he said.

The MEDC, meanwhile, is also considering a proposal to make it mandatory for any scaffolding and construction work near MEDC overhead lines to be first authorised by MEDC.

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CANADA: Waterloo North Hydro fined $110K for Arc Flash Incident

Ontario, Canada: Waterloo North Hydro fined $110,000 under Ontario workplace safety law after worker burned from arc flash. The Ontario Ministry of Labour announced Wednesday that electricity distributor Waterloo North Hydro Inc. was fined $110,000 under the Occupational Health and Safety Act in relation to an incident in which a worker was badly burned due to an arc flash.

The charges relate to an incident at a mall construction project in 2010 in Waterloo.  “Workers from Waterloo North Hydro Inc. had installed transformers on site and were attempting to send power from a transformer in one location to a transformer in another location,” the ministry stated in a press release Wednesday. “As power was sent to the second transformer, a worker for an electrical contractor was in the area routing a metal tape through a duct. The tape came into contact with a newly energized electrical conductor and caused an arc flash. The worker was badly burned.”

The utility pleaded guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice in Kitchener to failing to establish and implement an adequate job plan prior to installing and energizing the transformers.  “A job plan would have identified all known hazards and implemented controls for each hazard to protect workers from injury,” the Ministry of Labour stated.

One relevant section of provincial law is Section 181(1) of Ontario Regulation 213/91, which states: “Except where otherwise required by this Regulation, electrical work performed on or near electrical transmission or distribution systems shall be performed in accordance with the document entitled ‘Electrical Utility Safety Rules’ published by the Electrical and Utilities Safety Association of Ontario Incorporated and revised January, 2009.”

The other relevant section was Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 23(1)(a).  The fine was imposed Monday by Justice of the Peace Ruth Legate Exon. The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge to be credited to a government fund intended to help victims of crime.

Story via Daily Commercial News

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