MIAMI – A U.S. Department of Labor investigation into the electrocution of a 32-year-old worker in Miami found the lineman’s employer failed to make certain its crews working near overhead power lines followed required safety measures.
An inspection into the January 2023 incident by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration learned that a digger derrick truck used by employees of Concurrent Group LLC was parked beneath energized overhead power lines when the worker began operating the truck’s boom to unload a metal crossbeam. As they raised the boom, it contacted the 7,620-volt power line sending electricity through the truck and into the surrounding ground.
The lineman jumped from the truck and suffered a fatal electrocution.
OSHA issued citations for five serious violations to Concurrent Group LLC of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, for exposing employees to electrocution hazards by:
Allowing employees to operate a digger truck within the minimum approach distance to non-insulated, energized 7,620-volt overhead power lines.
Failing to designate an observer to supervise and warn employees working near energized and non-insulated overhead power lines before minimum approach distances were breached.
Not ensuring protective equipment was in place to ground and insulate the area while employees worked near energized power lines.
Failing to inspect the site and equipment to make certain employees did not approach overhead power lines and to ground all equipment before starting work.
“An employee lost their life because Concurrent Group LLC failed to use required safeguards before starting work that morning,” said OSHA Area Office Director Condell Eastmond in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “The company could have prevented this tragedy if it had ensured the power lines were de-energized before allowing employees to work in close proximity.”
OSHA proposed $40,937 in penalties, an amount set by federal statute.
Based in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, Concurrent Group LLC provides electrical contracting, utility construction and maintenance, and storm restoration services.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of their citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Visit OSHA’s website for information on developing a workplace safety and health program. Employers can also contact the agency for information about OSHA’s compliance assistance resources and for free help on complying with OSHA standards.