For OSHA Construction and General Industry

NY Contractors Cited for OSHA Electrical Standards Violations

OSHA Electrical Standards prohibit workers getting too close to power lines.The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), per OSHA Electrical Standards, cited three New York contractors for permitting employees to work dangerously close to high-voltage power lines on June 10, 2013. Vordonia Contracting and Supplies/Alma Realty Corp, Masonry Services of Brooklyn, and North Eastern Precast were building a new housing complex in a Nassau County, New York neighborhood when the violations occurred. The inspection occurred on December 1, 2012. Fines totaled approximately $465,000.

The safety violation stemmed from employees performing concrete work and operating cranes near 13,200 volt overhead power lines. According to OSHA, who enforces the OSHA Electrical Standards, workers ignored numerous requests to refrain from working near the power lines. The Long Island Power Authority warned workers consistently. Even with the warnings, workers continued working under dangerous circumstances. On one occasion, workers were completing a project with live power lines four inches above their heads.

Mark Power Lines and Educate Workers

The three contractors were issued citations related to failing to mark power lines, neglecting to educate workers on electrocution hazards, not checking to see whether the lines were energized, and risky crane operating procedures. Employees should consider the basic OSHA Electrical Standards when working near power lines or electricity.

  • Workers should always consider wires unsafe assuming overhead wires are energized at lethal voltages. Workers should also assume all wires are dangerous to touch.
  • Do not touch overhead power lines.  Contact the electric utility company to inform about fallen electrical lines.
  • Remain 3 meters away from overhead wires during cleanup and other related work tasks.
  • Never operate electrical equipment while you are standing in water.
  • Only qualified personnel should repair electrical cords or other equipment.
  • If equipment is wet, seek the services of a qualified electrician to inspect electrical equipment before energizing.
  • When working in damp environments, inspect electric cords and equipment to make certain they are in acceptable condition and free of flaws and defects. Use a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
  • Be extremely careful when working near electricity.

Managers and supervisors can dig deep into details managing safety risks at their workplace by taking our OSHA-Authorized 30 Hour Construction Training Course Online or OSHA 30 Hour General Industry Training Course Online. Each can be completed in about a week from home or office at times that meet your scheuldule.