Worker Electrocuted Because His Employer Did Not Ensure Safety Procedures Were Followed

OSHA reveals that Duke Energy Florida Inc. could have prevented the incident

On Oct. 15, 2014, a Duke Energy employee used a circuit testing technique that bypassed safety protocols designed to protect workers from electrical currents. He contacted an energized circuit and later died from injuries he sustained. Duke Energy knew workers bypassed safety protocols to conduct testing, but it did not enforce safety standards.

 

OSHA inspected the utility company and found it responsible for one willful and fiver serious safety violations, according to a press release.

 

"Duke Energy is aware of the fatal hazards that Dasher and other workers are exposed to, but failed to implement control measures its safety team developed to protect employees," said Brian Sturtecky, director of OSHA's Jacksonville Area Office. "This tragedy could have been prevented had management not delayed in making the workplace safe."

 

The willful citation was issued for failure to have a qualified observer present during testing that could immediately de-energize circuits. The serious citations were for failure to ensure that transformers were grounded and safety checked between each test and to provide training to workers who assisted with transformer testing, as well as for failure to ensure controlled access to the test area to protect workers from electrical shock hazards.

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