Utility Fined $120,000 for Worker’s Electrocution

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A utility worker was performing repair work to a downed line in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. He was working from an aerial bucket while a co-worker was working from the ground. The worker, who was wearing leather gauntlet gloves, asked his co-worker to bring rubber gloves from the cab of their truck. While he was doing so, the truck shook and the boom of the bucket dropped. The worker in the bucket was taken to the hospital but died from electrocution. An investigation revealed that no job plan or tailboard was in place before the start of work. In addition, the worker’s leather gloves contained some dampness, which would have further weakened their resistance to electricity. The utility pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that workers performed a documented job plan before performing work on or in proximity to energized electrical equipment and was fined $120,000 [Bluewater Power Distribution Corp., Govt. News Release, May 26, 2015].