Pure Power Technologies LLC has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for one willful and seven serious safety violations after a worker was severely burned by an electrical arc flash on June 25, 2013. The maintenance supervisor was injured while servicing a 480-V circuit breaker without proper electrical protective equipment at the company's Waukesha iron foundry.
"It's unacceptable that Pure Power Technologies failed to ensure employees were following safe work practices," said Chris Zortman, OSHA's area director in Milwaukee. "Employers have a responsibility to take all precautions to protect workers from known hazards that exist in their facilities."
One willful violation was cited for failure to ensure protective equipment was used while operating the circuit breaker with the cover removed thus exposing workers to electrical shock, arc blast and flash hazards. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.
Additionally, seven serious violations were cited, including:
- Failing to implement electrical safety-related work practices and use protective shields, barriers and insulating materials that would protect employees performing energized tasks.
- Reenergizing circuits before determining conditions were safe to do so.
- Failing to conduct air test on insulating rubber gloves prior to use and to electrically test gloves every six months.
- Failing to conduct periodic inspections of machinery.
- Lack of training in safety-related electrical work practices specific to their job assignments.
- Re-energizing circuits before determining that the equipment and circuit could be safety energized.
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.
OSHA has proposed penalties of $119,000.