"This tragic accident might have been avoided if safety standards had been followed," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "The actions being taken now by Nueces Electric Cooperative demonstrate its commitment to prevent a similar tragedy in the future and OSHA's commitment to protecting workers."
OSHA's Corpus Christi area office began its investigation Aug.12, 2002, following the injury of a worker who received an electrical shock while installing a transformer from a lift bucket truck. The employee's arms were later amputated.
According to OSHA Corpus Christi Area Director John Giefer, the agency cited the cooperative with nine alleged safety violations including failure to assess workplace hazards, failure to implement an effective health and safety program, failure to ensure employees were adequately trained in working with power transmission lines, failure to enforce the use of personal protective equipment and failure to adequately protect employees from exposure to energized power lines that can result in electrocution.
In addition to correcting all the citation items, Nueces started an analysis of employee work tasks to identify routine hazards and ensure employees follow established safety guidelines for working around hazardous power lines.