OSHA Finds Electrocution Hazards in Massachusetts

August 11, 2014

OSHA determined that employees of a Massachusetts construction contractor faced possible electrocution from working close to energized power lines at a Cambridge, Mass., jobsite. OSHA responded with more than $70,000 in proposed fines.

Employees were apparently using a trench rod and a fiberglass pole with a metal end to lift the lines. The packet of citations included a willful violation based on the employer’s knowledge of the hazard.

Commented OSHA Area Director Jeffrey Erskine, “This employer knew the overhead power lines were dangerous, but did not take steps to protect workers or shield them from contact and electrocution.” While it was lucky that no one was injured or killed, “the hazard of death or disabling burns was real and present,” Erskine added.