First and foremost, my sympathies go out to the mans family.
Although I do not know the details, I would not be surprised to find out that the young man was working as a "sub-contractor" and not covered by any workers comp. If this is the case it brings to light a problem that the legitimate contractors have been battling for years. Many small general contractors will sell these types of jobs and hire crews as sub contractors. These sub-contractors are then enticed by the appearance of "big money" and will then hire buddies under the table.
Although this particular instance involves a residentual roofing / remodeling contractor, it is something that all aspects of contracting have to deal with, from landscaping on up through all of the trades.
This has been a sore spot with me for many years, although there are laws in place that are supposed th police this sort of thing they are rarely enmforced letting the cycle continue, leaving the legitimate contractors to fight an uphill struggle against others that do not have anywhere near the overhead that is supposedly required.
That 10' rule is ridiculous. I understand why it's there, but c'mon. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I have personally violated that rule myself. Not deliberately, but because I had a job that needed to get done. This is common place in a city like Newark, NJ, for instance.
"Many contractors operate "owner-exempt" in regards to Workman's Comp. It's a legal option." _____________________________________________
Yes it is an option, not a good option , when i started out, i was owner exempt, not a corporation, what made me re think it, was every good paying residential job, the owner wanted proof of insurance, and i was unable to contract, with commercial, and industrial jobs without it.
The utility will disconnect the drop, the only reason for not following safety rules, is they don't want to schedule, or pay for the disconnect reconnect, it is sad, how the industry, has worked itself, to such low standards.
"Overhead lines." if work is to be performed near overhead lines, the lines shall be deenergized and grounded, or other protective measures shall be provided before work is started. If the lines are to be deenergized, arrangements shall be made with the person or organization that operates or controls the electric circuits involved to deenergize and ground them. If protective measures, such as guarding, isolating, or insulating, are provided, these precautions shall prevent employees from contacting such lines directly with any part of their body or indirectly through conductive materials, tools, or equipment."
From OSHA Regulations (Standards - 29 CFR) _____________________________________________
[This message has been edited by LK (edited 03-11-2006).]
Hey- Don't shoot the messenger! I asked for a direct cite...and Les was kind enough to provide it!
As Les' opening comment suggests, perhaps there are different rules for those who know electric work, and are equipped to deal with it (like electricians)....and different rules for those who have other things on their minds (like roofers).
I like to know the actual rule being referred to, for two reasons: - First, the press, and others, are notorious at mis-stating things. I like to know the facts; and, - Often the exact wording of a rule and some very important "details," necessary to apply it properly!
"Lk, this will be my 16th year in the industry and never once have I ever had the POCO out to disconnect a drop before bugging-in. Did the POCO used to come out and disconnect before 1990?"
We are talking about non qualified workers here, they are the ones not following the rules. As for electricians, working on service drops and UG services, there are cases where you may need the utility to disconnect before working, I have seen guys try to replace meter pans hot on UG services, they tape it up, and remove the pan, I would never think of doing this, nor would i expect any of my workers do it, under any conditions, Back in the 70's our utility ran a demo, where they faulted the drop, once you see the result of this demo, i can assure you, a true respect will set in.