Region 4 News Release: USDOL: 01-125
Thurs., August 2, 2001
Contact: Les Grove
Phone: (813) 626-1177
OSHA CITES FLORIDA ELECTRICAL COMPANY FOLLOWING INVESTIGATION OF FATAL ACCIDENT AT PLANT CITY, FLA. LOCATION
TAMPA, Fla. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today cited Terry's Electric, Inc., for alleged safety violations and proposed penalties totaling $77,000 following the investigation of a March 7 fatal accident in Plant City, Fla.
Company employees were using a truck to set a utility pole in the ground in order to install new street lights. When the pole came in contact with an overhead power line, 7,620 volts of electricity traveled through a service cable to the pole and electrocuted a worker.
Following an investigation of the accident, OSHA cited Terry's Electric Inc., for one alleged willful violation and proposed a $70,000 penalty for failing to properly train employees on how to maintain a 10-foot minimum working distance from energized overhead power lines and how to use proper protective equipment, such as rubber gloves, insulating barriers, or other protective devices.
"The employer was aware of the hazards and the safety requirements," said Les Grove, OSHA's acting area director, Tampa. "They addressed both in their written safety manual, but failed to instruct employees on how to recognize and avoid hazards."
OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSH Act and regulations.
The company was also cited for alleged serious safety violations with proposed penalties totaling $7,000 for failing to maintain a 10-foot minimum working distance from energized overhead power lines and for failing to ensure that employees wore proper safety equipment and were protected from energized circuits. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
Kissimmee, Fla.-based Terry's Electric Inc., has 15 working days to contest OSHA's citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Inspection of the worksite was conducted by OSHA's Tampa area office located at 5807 Breckenridge Parkway, Suite A, Tampa, Fla. 33610; telephone: (813) 626-1177.