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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201065034 - Workers Are Burned While Repairing Circuit Breaker

Accident: 201065034 -- Report ID: 0950632 -- Event Date: 02/11/2002
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30078841102/13/20027349Vescor Capital
At approximately 2:45 p.m. on February 2, 2002, Employee #1 and Employee #2 were trouble shooting a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system problem and found that the circuit breaker was overheated, and they ultimately attempted to remove it from an energized electrical panel in the electrical room on the roof of the building. Employee #2 reported the problem to the building manager who instructed them to obtain breaker information to order a replacement. When in the electrical room, Employee #1 opened the center panel doors and began to loosen screws on a circuit breaker. Employee #2 questioned Employee #1 about securing electrical power to the panel first. Employee #1 stated that it would just waste time and continued trying to remove the circuit breaker panel. It exploded. Employee #2 moved about 8 to 10 ft away from the panel toward the door. He then saw sparks and observed Employee #1's left hand was unable to let go of the screwdriver he was using that was in contact with the circuit breaker. Employee #2 went to Employee #1, kicked his left shoulder, and broke him loose from the electrical shock condition. Another explosion and fire erupted from the panel. Employee #2 received flash burns to his face and hands as he pulled Employee#1 toward the door. Employee#2 returned to the electrical room and used a nearby fire extinguisher to put out the fire. Employee #1 had departed the roof area and ran into the building yelling and screaming. Several nurses stopped him and administered first aid, and emergency medical services were summoned. Both employees were transported to a local burn center where they were treated for third-degree burns of their faces and hands. Investigation revealed that electrical power had not been secured to the circuit breaker panel. Citations were issued to the company for no lock-out/block-out training and working on energized parts of equipment without meeting required safety conditions.
Keywords: burn, maintenance, unsecured, electrical testing, lockout, circuit breaker, electric shock, electrical fault, face, hand
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 300788411 Hospitalized injury Other Helpers, mechanics and repairers
2 300788411 Hospitalized injury Electric Shock Helpers, mechanics and repairers

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