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OSHA citations upheld against employer of electrocuted workers

Posted On: Aug. 1, 2017 2:42 PM CST

An administrative law judge of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission has upheld citations against a Cameron, West Virginia-based Davis H. Elliot Co. Inc. after an electric shock resulted in the death of an employee.

In 2014, Elliot employees were installing conductor wire on a power distribution line when two of them received an electric shock, resulting in the death of lineman Greg Pruitt and injury to journeyman lineman Christopher Lynn Peterson, according to the July 19 order.

In 2015, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a citation and notification of penalty to that originally alleged three items of serious violations of OSHA's power distribution standard with proposed penalties of $21,000, which were modified to $14,000 when the secretary withdrew citation 1, item 1(b), and grouped serious citation 1, items 2 and 3, for purposes of penalty assessment.

The administrative law judge upheld the OSHA citations after finding that the employees were exposed to hazard “when the conductor wire they were ground-pulling contacted the overhead energized primary line,” according to documents.

The commission has adopted the administrative law judge’s decision as a final order as of July 19.

Elliot and its attorneys could not be immediately reached for comment.