Contractor cited in FirstEnergy plant death

September 24, 2013 by Ken Ward Jr.

harrisonpower

Federal authorities have completed their investigation of the March death of a contract worker at FirstEnergy’s Harrison Power Station and has issued this set of citations.  Readers may recall (see the AP coverage picked up from the original State Journal reporting):

A contractor who died in an accident at FirstEnergy’s Harrison power station near Clarksburg has been identified as a 57-year-old employee of a Pittsburgh company. The State Journal said David Bergman, 57, was removing insulation Wednesday at the power station when he fell into ductwork. He was employed by Burnham Industrial Contractors.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration alleged two violations of federal safety rules by Burnham Industrial:

— Insulators and sheetmetal workers were walking on approximate eight-inch-wide steel structural beams, referred to as stiffeners, and on metal planks that exposed them to accidentally falling onto and thru the top surface of the operational 2A Precipitator Inlet Duct. Employees wee exposed to hazards including severe metal lacerations, thermal burns, and an oxygen deficient atmosphere inside the duct as determined on March 21, 2013.

— A guardrail system or appropriate guarding was not used to protect Insulators and Sheetmetal workers from accidentally falling onto and through the top surface of the operational 2A Precipitator Inlet Duct. Employees were exposed to hazards including severe metal lacerations, thermal burns, and an oxygen deficient atmosphere inside the duct as determined on March 21, 2013.

OSHA proposed a fine of $7,000 for each of the citations, for a total of $14,000. A woman who answered the phone at Burnham’s office said the company had no comment.

 

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