Lack of Protective Equipment Results in 1st and 3rd Degree Burns

A Republic Steel plant electrician received burns after an arc flash.

According to a news release from OSHA, an electric technician at a Republic Steel Corp. steel manufacturing plant was removing wiring from a fan motor in an overhead crane when an underground electrical conductor touched a grounded surface, causing an arc flash. The technician sustained third-degree burns on her hand and first-degree burns on her face.

OSHA found that Republic Steel failed to provide and ensure the use of effective face and hand protection by its employees.

"These injuries were avoidable. Republic Steel has a responsibility to make sure that its electric technicians are properly trained, equipped with, and using personal protective equipment to protect from arc flash. In this case, that would include a faceshield and rubber insulating gloves. The company should be especially aware of this, since OSHA cited Republic Steel earlier in 2014 for similar hazards at its Lorain, Ohio, facility," said Michael Scime, OSHA's area director in Buffalo.

OSHA cited the company for two repeat violations and one serious violation for failing to protect employees against contact with energized electrical equipment.

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