Tampa worker's death brings contractor $112,000 OHSA fine
Tuesday, January 29, 2002
Story last updated at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 29, 2002
The Associated Press
TAMPA, Fla. - A Tennessee company should pay $112,000 in fines for a worker's electrocution because it knew or should have known its procedures violated safety rules, federal officials said Tuesday.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration accused Dillard Smith Construction Co. of Chattanooga, Tenn., of exposing linemen to electrical hazards caused by improper grounding procedures.
Jeffrey Kulig, 28, of Bowling Green, died in the July 25 accident at Tampa Electric Co.
He was using a lift to work on high-voltage transmission lines 200 feet in the air when he touched them, investigators said.
Kulig, a trainee, was working with a lineman, changing insulators and copper ground wires atop a transmission tower when Kulig used his hand to remove one end of the grounding jumper cable prior to removing it from the 230,000-volt line, OSHA said.
OSHA cited the contractor for committing the violation with intentional disregard or indifference to OSHA requirements.
The agency also issued six serious citations for failing to conduct job safety briefings, not properly training workers in the use of electrical equipment, not using proper grounding procedures and equipment and not maintaining required distance between energy lines and aerial baskets.
A serious violation means there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazards.
The company, which employs about 750 workers, has three weeks to contest the citations and proposed penalties before a review commission.
The company, reached by telephone Tuesday, had no comment.