Worker Electrocuted; CA Power Utility Faces Safety Fines

Monday, December 24, 2018 @ 11:12 AM gHale

Southern California Edison is facing $95,435 in fines after a worker attempting to remove an old ground wire contacted an energized transformer and suffered serious injuries, said officials at the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal OSHA).

Inspectors determined the company failed to control hazardous energy, isolate exposed underground cables with protective coverings, and eliminate all possible sources of backfeeding energy.

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Southern California Edison received five serious citations and one general citation.

In one serious citation, SCE failed to ensure a qualified electrical worker remained in close proximity to the work location (BURD structure) to act primarily as an observer for the purpose of preventing an accident or initiate a rescue operation in the event of an emergency. On May 25, an electric crew foremen who became incapacitated when he contacted energized parts of a 6.9kV transformer, had to yell for help because his groundman was standing approximately 15 feet away with his back turned to the work location.

In another citation, the employer failed to ensure a supervisory employee eliminated all possible sources of backfeed voltages on a 6.9kV transformer (being backfed by a generator), by disconnecting or grounding the high voltage side, or disconnecting or short circuiting the low voltage side. As a result, an employee while attempting to remove an old ground wire came in contact with an energized section of the transformer and suffered serious injuries.

In another citation, the employer failed to ensure a supervisory employee utilized hazardous energy control procedures during a shift.



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