DENVER -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Team Electric Inc., Denver, Colo. for unsafe working conditions following an electrical accident at a construction site in Aurora. Proposed penalties total $115,500.
One worker received serious burns on his torso, arms and corneas as the result of an electrical arc flash while working inside a main electrical room at the construction site Sept. 20, 2005.
"This accident could have been avoided by following recognized safe practices for working around electrical hazards," said Herb Gibson, OSHA area director in Denver.
Citations issued against the firm by OSHA's Denver area office allege two serious and two willful violations of OSHA standards. The willful violations, with proposed penalties of $112,000, involve failure to use required personal protective equipment when working around energized equipment and failure to de-energize and ground electrical equipment or effectively guard energized equipment from inadvertent employee contact. Additional penalties of $3,500 were proposed for lack of training involving arc flash and shock hazards and failure to have an accident prevention program.
"Strong enforcement, when necessary, is a key part of OSHA's efforts to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses," said Greg Baxter, OSHA regional administrator in Denver. "It is not acceptable to work on energized equipment without the use of adequate protection against electrical shock and arc flashes, one of the four leading causes of worker injuries and deaths in the construction industry."
Willful violations are those committed with intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The employer has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to request an informal conference with the OSHA area director or to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.