Contractor Zapped with Penalty Following Fatal Electrocution

The violations involve failing to instruct workers in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions, ensure the use of personal protective equipment, and protect workers from electrical shock.

OSHA has cited Brownsville, Wis.-based Michels Power Division for seven serious safety violations after a worker was fatally electrocuted on April 6 at a Livingston, Wis., job site. Proposed fines total $49,000.

"Employers have a responsibility to provide job-appropriate personal protective equipment and to train workers to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions," said Kim Stille, OSHA's area director in Madison. "Knowing what hazards exist in the workplace and ensuring that workers are not exposed to risks that could result in injury or death is critical, as demonstrated by this tragic incident."

The violations involve failing to instruct workers in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions, ensure the use of personal protective equipment, protect workers from electrical shock, maintain safe working distances, ground or isolate conductors, including service conductors, and isolate or ground pulling and tensioning equipment.

This was the first OSHA inspection for Michels Power Division, which is a utility, engineering, design, and construction contractor. The company is a subsidiary of The Michels Co. of Brownsville, Wis., which has been inspected and received citations for serious violations related to excavations and gas welding.

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