Region 1 News Release: BOS 99-194
Wednesday, October 20, 1999
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
PHONE: (617) 565-2074
OSHA CITES MASSACHUSETTS CONTRACTOR FOR ALLEGED WILLFUL SAFETY VIOLATIONS FOLLOWING PETERBOROUGH, N.H., ELECTROCUTION
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. Labor Department has cited DB Cable Construction, Inc., a cable installation contractor based in Buckland, Massachusetts, for alleged Willful violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act following the electrocution of a worker at a Peterborough, New Hampshire, worksite and has proposed penalties totaling $42,000.
According to David May, OSHA area director in Concord, the alleged violations were discovered during an inspection initiated August 8, 1999. On that day, an employee of DB Cable Construction, Inc., who was installing television cable on Nichols Lane in Peterborough was electrocuted when he came in contact with a live overhead electrical line while working in an uninsulated aerial lift.
"The inspection found that the power line had not been insulated or de-energized and grounded to protect employees against electric shock," said May. "In addition, the employee had not been trained in the nature of hazards associated with work in the vicinity of overhead power lines nor in the correct procedures for dealing with such hazards."
May explained that whenever employees' duties require them to work in close proximity to overhead electrical lines, those lines must be rendered safe for employees. This can be accomplished by de-energizing and grounding the lines, covering them with insulation or through some other means of protection, such as using employees specially trained and equipped to work near overhead lines.
Specifically, the company is being cited for two alleged Willful violations, with $42,000 in proposed penalties, for:
- an employee working in an aerial lift was not protected from overhead electrical lines by de-energizing and grounding of the lines, guarding by insulation or some other equivalent means of protection;
- an employee working in an aerial lift was not properly trained in the nature of electrical hazards associated with overhead electrical lines and the correct procedures for dealing with such hazards.
May urged Granite State employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards to contact the OSHA area office in Concord and added that 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 of normal business hours.
A willful violation is defined by OSHA as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
OSHA is empowered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to issue standards and rules requiring employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces and jobsites, and to assure through workplace inspections that those standards are followed.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to either elect to comply with them, to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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The information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (617) 565-2072. TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) Message Referral Phone: 800-347-8029.