Region 4 News Release: USDOL: 01-31
Wednesday, March 07, 2001
Contact: William Grimes
Phone: (770) 493-6644 ext. 0
OSHA FINES NORTH CAROLINA CONTRACTOR $61,000 FOLLOWING ELECTROCUTION AT LOGANVILLE, GA., JOB SITE
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Mount Airy, N.C.-based Pike Electric, Inc., for 10 serious safety violations and proposed penalties totaling $61,000 following the investigation of a fatal accident in Loganville, Ga.
According to William Grimes, OSHA's Atlanta-East acting area director, an employee working in an elevated lineman's bucket was electrocuted on Sept. 11 when he came in contact with a 14,400-volt power line.
"While upgrading an electrical system, this employee disconnected electrical feed. When his back made contact with the de-energized primary circuit at the same instant that contact was made with the live primary conductor, the worker was electrocuted," said Grimes.
"Basic safety precautions -- responsible training and appropriate protective equipment -- could have saved this worker's life," added Grimes.
OSHA issues a serious citation when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
Among the serious citations issued against the company for failing to protect workers from potential hazards were:
- failure to properly train employees on recognition and avoidance of hazards;
- failure to ensure the employees were insulated or guarded from energized parts;
- allowing employees to work too close to conductors without protections;
- not assuring that an operator was at equipment controls during a stringing operation;
- not providing properly grounded equipment;
- failure to properly guard belts, pulleys and chains, and
- failure to inspect live-line tools before use, remove defective tools from service, and assure that tools had proper certification ratings.
Pike Electric, Inc. does contract work throughout the South and mid-West. Prior to this inspection, federal OSHA and state occupational safety and health agencies had conducted over 80 inspections at company job sites, 26 of which were initiated because of accidents or fatalities.
The company has 15 working days to contest OSHA's citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Inspection of the Loganville job site was conducted by OSHA's area office located at LaVista Perimeter Office Park, Building 7, Suite 110, Tucker, Ga. 30084-4154; telephone: (770) 493-6644.
OSHA urges employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards to contact the Atlanta area office. OSHA's toll-free, nationwide hotline - - 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742) - - may be used to report workplace accidents or fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, especially if they occur outside normal business hours.###