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OSHA News Release – Region 5
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 5 News Release 04-2521-chi
Dec. 21, 2004
Contact: Brad Mitchell
Phone: (312) 353-6976
PEORIA, Ill. -- Mt. Carmel Public Utility Company in Mt. Carmel, Ill., has been fined $66,500 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for violations of workplace safety standards following an investigation into the July workplace accident in which one worker died and another received serious injuries.
OSHA issued serious and willful citations to the electricity and natural gas distributor for allowing a number of unsafe practices including an alleged willful violation for permitting employees to work on distribution lines without the required electrical grounding. Seven alleged violations categorized as serious included the company's failure to assess the workplace for job safety hazards, lack of protective equipment and clothing, failure to train or brief employees on each job, and failing to have employees follow appropriate energy control procedures during the repair of power lines.
"Working with and around utility power lines is understood to be a hazardous undertaking," said Brian Bothast, OSHA's acting area director in Peoria. "Employers must take specific steps to control electrical energy prior to working near power lines to meet safety and health standards."
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov/ebsa. 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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