An employee of McAfee Electric suffered serious burns and required resuscitation by emergency responders following an incident in Dublin, Ga., at Oconee Fall Line Technical College, where McAfee Electric was contracted to install emergency light-emitting diode, or LED lighting. The worker was injured while attempting to connect new wiring with existing wiring that was still powered. Following a subsequent inspection, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the employer with one willful and one serious safety violation.
"This incident could have been avoided if the employer had followed established OSHA safety guidelines, including providing workers with protective equipment and ensuring workers were not exposed to live wiring," said Robert Vazzi, director of OSHA's Savannah Area Office. "Employers must ensure that live wiring is de-energized prior to work as failure to do so can lead to death or serious injury."
OSHA issued a willful citation for allowing employees to work close to live electrical circuits without personal protective equipment. 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.
The serious citation was issued for failing to provide eye protection to workers that were required to use power tools, such as saws, to cut sheetrock. 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.
McAfee Electric is an electrical contractor based in Wrightsville that performs electric service throughout southern Georgia. The electrical contractor has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission. McAfee Electric employs four workers. Proposed penalties total $51,000.
According to preliminary data from the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, fatal work injuries in Georgia accounted for 70 of the 4,405 fatal work injuries reported nationally in 2013. Additional details are available at http://www.bls.gov.