utlity worker repairing power line

OSHA Issues Fine in Electrocution Incident

July 31, 2017
An incident involving workers and power lines underscores the importance of treating all power sources as if they were live.

One worker was killed and another injured when one of them came into contact with a downed power line in Tyler, Tex.

Contractors Wesley Ray Cain and Billy Titsworth were making early-morning repairs to a damaged Oncor utility pole when one of them came into contact with a live wire on Feb. 17. According to police reports, that worker then made contact with the other worker, transferring the shock to him as well.

The pole was damaged when it was struck by a vehicle. Cain and Titsworth were dispatched to repair it. At approximately 5:20 a.m., they were electrocuted.

Cain was pronounced dead at a local hospital, but Titsworth survived. The men were employed by Willbros T&D Services. OSHA investigated the incident and issued one serious violation, with a penalty of $12,673, to Oncor. The company is contesting the citation.

Oncor spokesperson Charles Hill said at the time that contractors are trained to approach every power line like it’s live.

Oncor released a statement at the time of the incident that said, in part: “This incident underscores the importance of safety around power lines and electrical equipment. If you see a downed line, stay away and call 9-1-1 immediately.”

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

Sponsored Recommendations

10 Facts About the State of Workplace Safety in the U.S.

July 12, 2024
Workplace safety in the U.S. has improved over the past 50 years, but progress has recently stalled. This report from the AFL-CIO highlights key challenges.

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!