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Firm Cited for Electrocution Hazards While Painting

Thursday, December 17, 2009

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited a Connecticut-based utility equipment maintenance contractor in December for exposing its workers to electrocution, fall, and other hazards while painting transmission poles at worksites in Naperville, IL.

OSHA’s proposed fines against the firm for alleged serious and willful violations of federal workplace safety standards total $50,250. The company, Midsun Group Inc., Southington, CT, has 15 business days from receipt of the citation to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

OSHA began its inspection in July after receiving information that workers on the site were exposed to potential electrocution while painting transmission poles. The resulting inspection revealed nine alleged serious and two alleged willful violations of OSHA standards.

One of the willful violations addressed potential electrocution based on energized transmission lines that were not grounded. The second willful violation addressed employees working within the minimum approach distance in a bucket truck that was improperly rated for the work being conducted. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing, or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

The serious violations included improper or untested personal protective equipment, training deficiencies, and the lack of fall protection. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

For more information on OSHA standards, visit http://www.osha.gov.

   

Tagged categories: Enforcement; OSHA

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