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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200376648 - Worker Is Burned In Arc Flash From Electric Panelboard

Accident: 200376648 -- Report ID: 0454510 -- Event Date: 12/11/2013
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31748957312/17/20131731Web Electric Inc
At approximately 10:00 a.m. on or about December 11, 2013, Employee #1 and Coworker #1, electrical engineers employed by Web Electric Inc., were working at a retail store. They were assigned to repair a broken heater in the store's rear storage room. Employee #1 had been on site the previous day, December 10, 2013, to review the scope of the assignment and the material involved. Employee #1 and Coworker #1 replaced the electric contact on the heater. Employee #1 then went to check the 480 Volt Westinghouse Fusible Distribution Panelboard (FDP), Category FDPT3833 #3 panelboard unit in the store's electrical cage, located in a separate room adjacent to the storage room, to make sure that the heater could be energized. The panelboard unit, measuring approximately 8 inches tall by 14 inches long, was installed along with other panelboard units, approximately 3 feet from concrete on grade. The panelboard unit contained a shutoff switch on the front side of the dead front panel to disconnect the interior front fuse panel from the live busbar that energized the panel from the interior rear of the panel unit. Employee #1 turned the 480 Volt, 60 Amp T3833 FDP #3 switch to the off position and opened the dead front to expose the TRS90R 90 Amp fuses in the panel. After a visual inspection of the interior of the panelboard unit, Employee #1 metered the fuses in the panel to ensure that the fuse panel was not energized. He determined that two of the three fuses were inoperable and needed replacement. Employee #1 removed the fuses with an insulated fuse puller. He then wound up the electrical meter and took off his gloves. The door to the panelboard had swung into an almost closed position and sat slightly ajar, approximately 3 inches. Before starting toward his vehicle to retrieve two new fuses, Employee #1 reached to shut the electrical panel door, so that store employees would not be exposed to an electrical hazard while he was gone. As Employee #1 shut the panel door, a live T3833 FDP #1 panelboard unit, approximately 8 inches above the FDP #3 that Employee #1 had been working in, and that had not been previously opened and was dead front, had one or more arc flashes. The flashes blew out the top of the dead fronted T3833 FDP #1, causing irreparable blast and burn damage. The interior of the T3833 FDP #3 had burn marks on a small section of the panel door. Employee #1 was seriously burned. He also experienced brief blindness due to the flash. Coworker #1, who had been standing to the side, approximately 3 feet from the panel unit, also experienced brief blindness, but was otherwise uninjured. Emergency services were called, and Employee #1 was transported and admitted to Tuomey Hospital, and subsequently transferred by emergency transport to the Augusta Burn Center. He was treated for second and third degree burns to his hand and forearm. South Carolina OSHA's subsequent investigation determined that Employee #1 had been wearing ANSI Class 2 - 17,000 Volt electrical gloves, a fire resistant shirt, and safety glasses while working, although, as noted above, he had removed his gloves shortly before the arc flash event.
Keywords: burn, eye, electric arc, ppe, glove, electrician, panelboard, construction, electrical work, elec utility work
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Commercial building Maintenance or repair Under $50,000 1
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 317489573 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Electrical and electronic engineers FallDist:
FallHt:
Cause: Interior plumbing, ducting, electrical work
FatCause: Other

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