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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202558094 - Two Workers Are Burned In Electric Arc Flash

Accident: 202558094 -- Report ID: 0950631 -- Event Date: 03/19/2014
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31714445903/24/20141731Par Electrical Contractors Inc
On March 19, 2014, Employees #1 and #2, electrical power installers/repairers employed by PAR Electrical Contractors, Inc., were working as part of a crew installing a power transmission line. They were working on a new above-ground primary cabinet (PME). The crew was "cutting over" the new "A" phase load to the new PME #6058 and verifying that they were energizing the proper new "A" phase cable and that it was properly terminated, tagged, and mapped. They were "phoning out" the conductor by connecting a battery-operated walkie-talkie device to each end of the selected cable and verifying verbally with the persons at each end that they were connected through the same cable. This was necessary because workers at the two ends were not in view of one another. The crew first opened the down circuit structure (#B5143734) and identified the new cable. They then proceeded to set up the tools and equipment to connect the phone there. Employees #1 and #2 proceeded to the PME #6058 to connect to the opposite end of the "A" phase cable to phone back to the circuit side. Employee #1 opened the PME, which was locked and secured with star screws, and reached for the cable marked "A" phase. He removed it from the stand-off bushing and attached the phone to the probe. Employee #2 was standing behind Employee #1. Employee #1 connected one lead wire from the phone to ground. When he tried to place the second lead from the phone, a phase-to-ground fault occurred through the phone he was holding in his hand. Both Employee #1 and Employee #2 were burned in the resulting electric arc flash. Emergency services were called, and the Orange County Fire Authority responded. The two employees were transported to Western Medical Center, admitted, and treated for second and third degree burns to the face and arms. Both required surgery for their burns. Both the Orange County Fire Authority and the employer reported this event to Cal/OSHA on March 19, 2014. The subsequent investigation determined that the workers had inadvertently opened the line side of the cabinet, which was energized, rather than the load side of the cabinet.
Keywords: burn, electric arc, installing, electric cable, electrician, construction, elec utility work, electrical cabinet, arm, face
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Powerline, transmission line New project or new addition $5,000,000 to $20,000,000
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 317144459 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Electrical power installers and repairers FallDist:
Cause: Installing equipment (HVAC and other)
FatCause: Fire/explosion
2 317144459 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Electrical power installers and repairers FallDist:
Cause: Installing equipment (HVAC and other)
FatCause: Fire/explosion

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