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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202080669 - Three Employees Are Injured From Electric Arc

Accident: 202080669 -- Report ID: 0453730 -- Event Date: 08/26/2010
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31433823709/16/20108062Frye Regional Medical Center Inc
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31433824509/21/20101731Electric Service Group, Inc.
On August 26, 2010, Employee #1, #2, and #3 were involved in maintenance work. Employee #1 was 7.5 ft away and oversaw Employees #2 and #3, who were electricians and assessed a 600 amp breaker in a 480 volt, 1800 amp, 1978 Square D switchboard, Number 42- 87969-1 for faults. The breaker failed and they decided to replace it. Employee #2 and #3 removed the cover and exposed energized parts of the 600 amp breaker. There was a 900 amp breaker at the bottom of the switchboard marked with Emergency Service Disconnect above the breaker and Panel DEQH Equipment Branch below the breaker, which made the electricians think the breaker would turn off the power to the switchboard. Employee #2 turned off the 900 amp breaker and tested the 600 amp breaker with a voltmeter to confirm it was deenergized, but found it was still energized. They decided to remove the 900 amp breaker cover to determine why it was still energized. Employee #2 and #3 were on their knees on either side of the switchboard. While kneeling by the switchboard, they removed the cover above the 900 amp breaker when an electrical arc was produced. The electric arc struck Employee #2 and threw him to the floor, causing him head contusions. Employee #1 received minor burns to his abdomen. Employee #3 received second and third degree burns to his face, neck and forearms outside his cotton t-shirt. The switchboard arced, burned, and smoked until the power was shut off. All three employees had breathing difficulties related to smoke inhalation. The employees had no training on hazards associated with working near exposed energized parts. Additionally, they were not aware that their proximity to exposed energized parts was a hazard or that they needed personal protective equipment, protective barriers or insulating materials when exposed to energized parts. They were transported to a hospital where Employee #1 and #3 received medical attention for burns, and Employee #2 was treated for another condition. After the administering of medical care, Employee #1 and #2 was released from the hospital while Employee #2 was hospitalized.
Keywords: electric arc, forearm, burn, electrician, circuit breaker, neck, face
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Commercial building Maintenance or repair Under $50,000
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 314338237 Non Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Machinery maintenance occupations
2 314338245 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Electricians
3 314338245 Non Hospitalized injury Other Electricians

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