Metal Shredders Cited in Electrocution Death of Welder

The parent company, Cohen Brothers, was also cited for three serious electrical safety violations

Cohen Brothers Inc., of Middletown, Ohio, has been cited for one willful and eight serious safety violations involving electrical safe work practices and now faces penalties of $115,000.

 

OSHA initiated a fatality inspection after a 33-year-old maintenance worker was electrocuted. The investigation found Metal Shredders failed to protect the welder from an energized electrical line while he was cutting a metal roof off an industrial transformer substation at the facility.

 

Investigators found Metal Shredders failed to verify that electrical lines were absent of voltage after turning off the disconnect switch inside the transformer substation cabinet, resulting in a willful violation. The 10-year employee attempted to enter the substation by climbing over a concrete wall and fence on the side of the transformer substation and his foot touched the electrical line, which was still energized, and was electrocuted.

 

"This was a tragic death that could have been prevented by following basic safety practices for working with high voltage transmission lines," said Ken Montgomery, OSHA Area Director in Cincinnati. "Employers who work with high voltage electricity must train workers in recognizing hazards and proper procedures to de-energize lines, and ensure the working environment is safe. No workers should lose their life on the job."

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