Small and midsize business owners take note of a recent incident in Miami that highlights the importance of adhering to safety requirements in the workplace. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted an investigation into the electrocution of a 32-year-old lineman and discovered that the employer, Concurrent Group LLC, failed to ensure its crews working near overhead power lines followed required safety measures.
Concurrent Group LCC Failed to Have Employees Follow Required Safety Measures
The investigation revealed that a digger derrick truck used by the employees was parked beneath energized overhead power lines when the worker began operating the truck’s boom to unload a metal crossbeam. As the boom was raised, it came into contact with the 7,620-volt power line, causing electricity to flow through the truck and into the surrounding ground. Tragically, the lineman jumped from the truck but suffered a fatal electrocution.
OSHA issued five serious violations to Concurrent Group LLC, based in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, for exposing employees to electrocution hazards. The violations included allowing employees to operate the digger truck within the minimum approach distance to non-insulated, energized 7,620-volt overhead power lines, failing to designate an observer to supervise and warn employees working near energized power lines, and not ensuring protective equipment was in place to ground and insulate the area while employees worked near energized power lines.
Additionally, the company was cited for failing to inspect the site and equipment to ensure employees did not approach overhead power lines and to ground all equipment before starting work. OSHA proposed penalties of $40,937, an amount set by federal statute. This case serves as a solemn reminder of the devastating consequences that can result from not prioritizing workplace safety.
As a business owner, it is essential to prioritize the safety and well-being of your employees. Failure to comply with safety regulations not only puts your workers at risk but also exposes your business to significant penalties and potential legal repercussions.
To prevent such incidents and ensure a safe working environment, consider implementing the following practices:
Provide comprehensive safety training: Ensure all employees receive proper training on safety protocols and procedures specific to their job roles.
Conduct regular safety inspections: Regularly inspect equipment, work areas, and safety gear to identify and address potential hazards.
Designate safety observers: Appoint designated individuals to supervise and warn employees working in proximity to hazardous areas.
Enforce safety protocols: Clearly communicate safety policies and enforce adherence to safety guidelines at all times.
Encourage reporting of safety concerns: Create an environment where employees feel comfortable reporting any safety concerns without fear of reprisal.
By investing in a culture of safety and compliance, you protect your employees, your business, and your reputation. Demonstrating a commitment to workplace safety not only fosters a positive work environment but also showcases your dedication to the well-being of your workforce. Remember, ensuring safety is not just a legal obligation; it is a moral responsibility that benefits everyone involved.