OSHA Cites Georgia Power After Arc Flash Severely Burns Worker

The agency says employers failed to power down a cabinet before electrician work began.

OSHA announced an enforcement case against Georgia Power with two repeated, five serious, and two other-than-serious safety citations. The citations were issued after an investigation determined an electric arc flash injured a worker in October 2015 while he was working on an electrical cabinet that was still powered. The ABB Inc. employee, an electrician, suffered second, and third-degree burns to his hands, arms, and torso.

Serious violations were issued for failure to ensure proper grounding of electrical equipment, inform employers of their electrical lockout program, and provide procedures for electrical energy isolation.

OSHA reported Georgia Power was previously cited for similar violations in 2014 at the same facility in Cartersville, Ga.

ABB Inc. was issued two serious citations. The serious violations relate to its alleged failure to coordinate with other employers on the specific requirements of removing power from equipment before maintenance and servicing and exposing workers to electrical hazards.

Proposed penalties total $122,780.

"Every day, employees place their trust in their employers to keep them safe while they work, unfortunately Georgia Power and ABB failed to ensure the cabinet was properly de-energized before allowing the electrician to begin working. This incident was totally preventable if his employers simply followed OSHA standards," said Christi Griffin, OSHA's director of the Atlanta-West Office.

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