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California Water Well Drilling Employee Electrocuted

By Kenton Koszdin Law Office on February 16, 2016 | In Workplace Injury

California Water Well Drilling Employee Electrocuted

A California-based water well services company has been cited after one of their workers was killed and another was seriously injured. The fatal electrocution accident occurred in June 2015 in Santa Maria. Officials say one worker was killed and another was serious injured when a pump hoist made contact with a live overhead power line carrying between 600 to 50,000 volts. In December, California’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited M&W Pumps Inc. for failing to maintain the minimum 10-foot distance requirement around overhead power lines. The company received six violations, including one related to a serious accident.

If this employer had put safety measures in place before the workers were allowed near power lines, their lives would not have been at risk. When the pump hoist made contact with the 12,000-volt power line, it resulted in fatal injuries to the rig operator assistant and severe injuries to the rig operator who was manning the controls of the pump hoist.

Before employees are asked to work near overhead power lines, there are many requirements that must be met. OSHA recommends employers to:

  • Identify the work zone
  • Demarcate the boundaries of where the workers are allowed to safely operate
  • Define the work zone
  • Determine if any equipment can reach the power lines
  • De-energize the ground or ensure that no part of the equipment can get closer than 20 feet
  • Determine the line voltage and the minimum approach distance
  • Conduct a planning meeting with the workers
  • Provide proper supervision

Serious or even fatal injuries can occur when there is a failure to provide safe work conditions and proper safety training. Injured workers in such cases can pursue monetary support for their medical bills and a portion of their lost wages through workers’ compensation benefits. When a worker is killed, the family can seek death benefits as well.

There are cases, however, where negligence contributes to an accident. In such cases, it is advisable for the victim or the victim’s family to call an experienced Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney. Kenton Koszdin Law Office can help.

Call us at (800) 438-7734.

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