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Region 6 News Release: OSHA-03-17
Fri., Feb. 7, 2003
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, Ext. 222 or 221
Penalties of $86,800
Nueces Electric Will Increase Its Safety and Health Efforts
DALLAS -- Nueces Electric Cooperative Inc., headquartered in Robstown, Texas, has agreed to strengthen its safety and health program and pay $86,800 in penalties for citations issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration in the wake of an accident in August that resulted in an employee losing both arms.
"This tragic accident might have been avoided if safety standards had been followed," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "The actions being taken now by Nueces Electric Cooperative demonstrate its commitment to prevent a similar tragedy in the future and OSHA's commitment to protecting workers."
OSHA's Corpus Christi area office began its investigation Aug.12, 2002, following the injury of a worker who received an electrical shock while installing a transformer from a lift bucket truck. The employee's arms were later amputated.
Nueces Electric Cooperative employs about 125 workers.
According to OSHA Corpus Christi Area Director John Giefer, the agency cited the cooperative with nine alleged safety violations including failure to assess workplace hazards, failure to implement an effective health and safety program, failure to ensure employees were adequately trained in working with power transmission lines, failure to enforce the use of personal protective equipment and failure to adequately protect employees from exposure to energized power lines that can result in electrocution.
In addition to correcting all the citation items, Nueces has begun an analysis of employee work tasks to identify routine hazards and ensure employees follow established safety guidelines for working around hazardous power lines.
Employers or workers who have questions concerning safety and health may call OSHA's Corpus Christi area office at (361) 888-3420 or OSHA's toll free hotline number at 1-800-321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this release will be made available in alternative format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202-693-7773 or TTY 202-693-7755.
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