OSHA Fines N.Y. Nightclub Following Worker Electrocution

October 31, 2005

The June 17 electrocution death of a worker at an Albany, New York nightclub/restaurant/bar could have been prevented with a combination of training and proper work practices, reports the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

JBC of Albany NY Inc., also known as Jillian’s, was cited for two alleged serious violations of workplace safety standards following an OSHA inspection begun June 18. The employee, a maintenance worker and door host, was electrocuted when he came in contact with an exposed 230-volt electrical contact while attempting to fix a leak in a commercial dishwasher.

OSHA’s inspection reportedly found that, in addition to the exposed live electrical part, the dishwasher had not been deenergized prior to beginning the repair work, and the worker had not been trained in working with or around live electricity.

As a result, OSHA issued two serious citations and proposed $5,000 in fines for these conditions. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm are likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

“This accident need not have occurred,” said John Tomich, OSHA’s Albany area director. “It’s vital that workers be properly and effectively trained before working with electricity. This is a textbook example of what can happen when workers are not trained so they can recognize and prevent potentially deadly hazards.”

JBC of Albany, NY has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply with them, request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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