Four Deaths in Missouri and Kansas Lead the U.S. Department of Labor Urging Midwest Employers to Emphasize Electrical Safety

Four Deaths in Missouri and Kansas Lead the U.S. Department of Labor Urging Midwest Employers to Emphasize Electrical Safety

Statistics show a one year increase of 3.75 percent in fatal worker electrocutions in 2019.

Electrical hazards killed four workers in Missouri and Kansas in a five month span in 2021. According to a press release, one was a 40-year-old electrical contractor replacing light fixtures in Sedalia, Missouri, on October 4. On September 23, A 22-year-old worker’s life was taken while cleaning a Higbee pig barn with a pressure washer. In Wichita, Kansas, a 41-year-old doing heating and air conditioning work on July 13 and a month earlier, a 35-year-old electrical contractor climbing a pole in Lawrence, Kansas, on June 8. Their stories and circumstances are different. However, they were all caused by electrocution.

While the U.S. DOL’s OSHA continues to investigate all of the employer-reported deaths, the agency is alerting all employers to review safe electrical work practices with their employees in response to a nationwide increase in workplace deaths by electrocution. It is reported nationally that there is a 3.75 percent increase – 166 workplace deaths related to electrocution – in 2019 over the previous year. From November 6, 2018 through October 3, 2021, OSHA investigated 12 electrical-related deaths in Missouri and Kansas.

“Recent tragedies in Missouri and Kansas are reminders of the danger of electrical exposures in the workplace,” said OSHA’s Acting Regional Administrator Billie Kizer in Kansas City, Missouri. “OSHA’s electrical standards are designed to protect employees from electric shock and electrocution. Employers should implement safety and health programs, and are required to train workers on identifying hazards and use required protective measures to ensure all employees end each workday safely.”

OSHA also has a local emphasis program in the St. Louis area for electrical hazards in industry and an alliance agreement to promote electrical safety with the Iowa Department of Workforce Development and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 55.

About the Author

Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.

Download Center

  • OSHA Recordkeeping Guide

    In case you missed it, OSHA recently initiated an enforcement program to identify employers who fail to electronically submit Form 300A recordkeeping data to the agency. When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and ins and outs. This guide is here to help! We’ll explain reporting, recording, and online reporting requirements in detail.

  • Incident Investigations Guide

    If your organization has experienced an incident resulting in a fatality, injury, illness, environmental exposure, property damage, or even a quality issue, it’s important to perform an incident investigation to determine how this happened and learn what you can do to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of performing an incident investigation.

  • Lone Worker Guide

    Lone workers exist in every industry and include individuals such as contractors, self-employed people, and those who work off-site or outside normal hours. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies, inadequate rest and breaks, physical violence, and more. To learn more about lone worker risks and solutions, download this informative guide.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Download the guide to learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • The Basics of Incident Investigations Webinar

    Without a proper incident investigation, it becomes difficult to take preventative measures and implement corrective actions. Watch this on-demand webinar for a step-by-step process of a basic incident investigation, how to document your incident investigation findings and analyze incident data, and more. 

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2022

    November December 2022

    Featuring:

    • IH: GAS DETECTION
      The Evolution of Gas Detection
    • OSHA TOP 10
      OSHA's Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2022
    • FALL PROTECTION
      Enhance Your Fall Protection Program with Technology
    • 90TH ANNIVERSARY
      The Future: How Safety WIll Continue to Evolve
    View This Issue