The Beverly facility of the Northeast Hospital Corporation faces up to $63,000 in fines for serious and repeat violations of electrical hazards. After a hospital employee brought the workplace hazards to the attention of authorities, the Andover Area Office of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted an inspection in which they found that there was a high potential for employee electric shock, resulting in four serious citations and $28,000 in fines.
Reasons for OSHA’s citations included:
• Employees lacked protective guards while working on energized electrical equipment
• Electrical protective equipment was not tested regularly • Electrical safety practices were not used • Procedures not implemented to control hazardous energy while replacing breakers
Additionally, OSHA issued a repeat citation and a fine of $35,000 for dormant openings in electrical panels and cabinet motor control centers that should have been closed, as previously cited in May of 2010, but were not yet fixed. Jeffrey Erskine, OSHA’s Area Director for Essex and Middlesex Counties said, “Electricity can kill or severely injure workers, literally in a flash. There is no margin for error here…it is vitally important for the safety and well-being of employees working with electricity that they be properly trained and equipped with effective protective equipment.”
OSHA issues such citations when it is likely that death or a serious physical injury could result from a hazard that the employer knew about or should have known about. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for ensuring safe and healthy workplaces for their employees.
Our experienced lawyers represent clients throughout Massachusetts who have suffered injuries because of inadequate workplace safety. If you have a question in regards to an electric shock or workers’ compensation case and would like a free consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us.
US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites Northeast Hospital Corp. for failing to protect workers against electrical hazards at Beverly, Mass., facility, OSHA Regional News Release, February 14, 2011
Contact the Massachusetts work injury lawyers at Altman & Altman if you have been injured on the job.