[Article Comments] Four techs rescued from water tower

Discussion in 'Wireless Estimator Site Discussions' started by Wireless Estimator, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. Wireless Estimator

    Wireless Estimator Administrator Staff Member

    We try to keep our ear to the ground as much as possible regarding incidents such as the one in our article:
    Four techs rescued in Houston after their load line energizes water tower.

    However, there is always more to be gained by sharing the thoughts of others, along with information that we may not be privy to, or may not have presented.

    The WirelessEstimator Community Forum has been developed for just this purpose.

    Feel free to share your comments or insights.
  2. Andy "Skooter" Elliot

    Andy "Skooter" Elliot Industry Observer

    How many times have we had to guess at what really happened in an accident? It seems like all the time. The news out there most of the time gets it wrong and sometimes even you dont have much information about something that happened.

    It will be interesting to see what information is shared here. I think this is a great idea to help everyone be safer by discussing near misses and fatalities on a professional level instead of over a few beers.
  3. gene ledbetter

    gene ledbetter Friend of the Community

    For those people that think a JSA is a useless piece of paperwork it's doubtful that this company had one prior to starting the job. Otherwise they would have certainly noted that there was a considerable accident waiting to happen if their load line came in contact with those three high voltage lines and they should have made plans to insure that it did not happen.

    Even if they did have something on their JSA regarding overhead lines it was probably checked off and never discussed during a tailgate. This is not one of those fluke accidents. This should never have happened if safety was a priority.
  4. Wireless Estimator

    Wireless Estimator Administrator Staff Member

    It's not often that a part of an accident involving a tower technician is caught on camera. In this instance, a cell phone was recording the incident as well as a security camera as the crew's load line hits high voltage lines.
  5. Jeremy

    Jeremy Friend of the Community

    I agree Gene. Commonly a JSA is regarded as another piece of paperwork and in most situations sports the same hazards as the site before it. I have noticed the same hazards repeatedly on JSA's and while I like to believe they were completed with the best intentions they are usually completed to oblige the "safety guy" and then it's "go time".

    If we could get a JSA to be the go to source of information it should be, events like this could be avoided. While power lines may have been on their JSA, I can imagine it was never considered again except for the one person who wrote it and set the paper in the truck... I can even believe slips, trips and falls and birds also accommodated the "Site Specific Hazards".
  6. spudw

    spudw Friend of the Community

    You're right Jeremy. I think it's the mindset of many workers to ignore JSA's.

    Also, good crews start with proper work attire.

    I don't want to make light of this but one of the workers in the video is wearing sneakers. Did he think that he wouldn't be electrocuted if he was insulated from the tower?

    It's questionable whether he was wearing a hard hat either since he was transported right from the base of the tower to the EMS vehicle with his baseball cap on.

    The guy on top of the tower with the hardhat appeared to be a rescue worker since he didn't fit in with the dress code of this crew.

    They should feel very lucky that one of them didn't die.

    This is an excellent lessons learned and hopefully others will benefit from this crew's errors.
  7. Chas  Wagner

    Chas Wagner Industry Observer

    When I first saw this headline I had to rush to the article and see the tank's profile. My first thought was that this was just another crew that doesn't know about rigging a heel block at the base. As it turns out the photos and video clips tell a me that there is more missing than a JSA. Sneakers? Ball caps? :eek:.... S - corp with 1099 employees I bet.
  8. canderson

    canderson Friend of the Community

    Don't know if those were arc flashes or the load line came in contact with the wires, but a blanket would have prevented that from happening. Looks like the contractor took the path of least resistance in trying to make more of a profit by not spending the money to keep his workers safe.

    It would be nice if OSHA investigates this.
  9. Jimmy Colbert

    Jimmy Colbert Industry Observer

    It appears that they are not required to report it to OSHA.

    OSHA says: Within eight (8) hours after the death of any employee from a work-related incident or the in-patient hospitalization of three or more employees as a result of a work-related incident, you must orally report the fatality/multiple hospitalization by telephone or in person to the Area Office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), U.S. Department of Labor, that is nearest to the site of the incident.

    Five of them were taken to the hospital, but four of them were primarily sent there for observation and then released. The other one burned might have been released after his treatment.
    In order to be an in-patient you have to have an overnight stay.

    So they wouldn't have to report it and probably didn't.

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