Arc Flash & Electrical Safety News

Blog Author Steve Hudgik

Thursday, June 07, 2012

OSHA Cites North Billerica, Mass., Contractor Following Arc Blast

OSHA has cited Interstate Electrical Services, a North Billerica electrical contractor, for alleged willful and serious violations following a November 2011 arc flash blast at an Andover jobsite. Two workers installing electrical service were seriously burned when a piece of equipment made contact with an energized part of an electrical panel, resulting in the arc flash.

OSHA's Andover Area Office determined that the energized electrical panel was not effectively guarded to prevent workers from coming in contact. As a result of this condition, OSHA issued a willful citation, with a $70,000 fine. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

OSHA also issued the contractor two serious citations, with $11,000 in fines, for additional electrical hazards posed by a damaged power cord and an energized electrical wire that was not protected against damage. A serious violation occurs 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.

Interstate Electrical Services has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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