by , on September 4, 2014
P. Gioioso & Sons Inc. in Boston, Mass. faces $70,290 in fines after workers faced possible electrocution while working near energized powerlines without required safeguards. Training for electrical safety in the workplace can actually allow the workers to support management to catch these types of violations before the company is fined.  Electrical safety training should be matched to the actual hazard the worker faces.  In this case OSHA 1910.269 would apply and the workers would be trained to require the utility to de-energize the lines or use equipment in such a manner that it did not broach the proper boundaries.
An inspection in May 2014 by the U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) revealed a trench rod and fiberglass pole with a metal end were used to lift overhead powerlines allowing workers to move excavating equipment on the work site beneath the lines.
 Jeffrey Erskine, OSHA’s area director for Middlesex and Essex counties stated, “This employer knew the overhead power lines were dangerous but did not take steps to protect workers or shield them from contact and electrocution. Electricity is swift and deadly. While it is fortunate no one was injured or killed in this case, the hazard of death or disabling burns was real and present.”
Gioioso was cited by OSHA in 2011 for a similar hazard at a Framingham worksite.

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Hugh Hoagland
About author:
Hugh Hoagland is the foremost tester of clothing and PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Read more about Hugh.

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