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An analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data from the National Fire Protection Association has found that construction workers represent a "significant share" of contract worker deaths as a result of electrocution between 2012 and 2016.
According to the analysis, contract workers, defined as employees of another firm or self-employed independent contractors, represented 13 percent of electrocution deaths.
Of contract worker deaths during the time period analyzed by the NFPA, 68 percent were at construction and extraction fields and 30 percent of construction contract worker deaths from electrocution took place on construction sites. Construction trade workers represented 57 percent of fatal electrical accidents.
Last October, OSHA cited Insight Pipe Contracting, Harmony, Pennsylvania, for workplace safety and health violations following a fatal employee electrocution at a worksite in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Two other workers were injured after they tried to assist the employee who died. The contractor faces $331,101 in proposed penalties.
According to a press release, OSHA initiated a safety investigation after an employee suffered a fatal electrocution. Two employees who attempted to assist him were hospitalized after receiving electrical shock. The employees were making a trenchless sewer repair when the incident occurred. OSHA conducted a subsequent health investigation upon referral from the OSHA safety compliance officer who investigated the fatality. OSHA cited the company for failing to develop and implement procedures for confined space entry; train employees on confined space hazards; conduct atmospheric testing before permitting entry into a sewer line; use a retrieval line; and complete proper permits. The agency placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
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