Tree Crew Burns Down Line: A tree crew had an aerial lift boom in the air and was maneuvering the boom to the ground when the operator swung the boom into two phases, burning down the line. There were no reported injuries, but a fire was started by the downed lines. The truck was towed back to Altec where they found the truck boom to be severely damaged by the high voltage contact.
Pole Dropped by Helicopter: On April 1, 2016 a GC crew was setting poles in a remote location using a helicopter to transport a total of five poles. Four poles were hauled successfully, but on the second trip, the fifth pole came loose from the load hook as it was being set. Investigation showed that on the final lift, a clevis that was being used on the previous lift was not used on the last lift, causing the lift cable to twist loose of the hook when the weight of the pole was relieved by ground contact. No injuries were reported.
Transfer Breaks Line: A line crew was transferring energized 4str copper conductor from an old pole to a new pole. The new pole was 10 feet taller with a slight angle. The crew was using an insulated link stick with roller and just as the linemen were landing the conductor onto the insulator the line separated. There were no splices in the wire or signs of damage to indicate a possible failure. No injuries reported.
Equipment Operator Shocked: A PG&E Stockton Division gas department equipment operator was shocked by touch potential on a 120/240 service in a joint trench. The crew was responding to a “smell of gas” report and had uncovered the gas service when the equipment operator put his hands on the gas service and received a jolt that went up his right hand and arm. The operator reported the shock to the crew foreman who took the precaution of calling EMS to have the operator checked out. An electric troubleman was called in to de-energize the service and it was found that the electric service was 3-4 inches from the gas service. The investigation found that the equipment operator and crew foreman failed to recognize the hazard present by the electric service and requirement that the employee don 00 secondary gloves in the trench.
Underground 12kV Cable Incident: A third-party excavating contractor working for a large telecommunications provider was hand digging around and exposing buried telephone cables located in a joint trench that also contained an energized 12kV direct-buried delta circuit. The employee in the excavation apparently assumed or mistook what was actually a 12kV cable and associated separable splice for a telephone or cable/splice. The employee then proceeded to pull up on the cable in order to excavate under it and pulled apart the splice breaking load and de-energizing the section of 12kV, which in turn shocked him unconscious and blew both riser fuses. The employee regained consciousness and was taken to the hospital and checked out ok. He returned to work the same day. It should be noted that all the appropriate USA markings were present along with additional marks informing the excavator of the cable being direct buried. (Reported by Business Rep JV Macor)
OSHA 300 Log Requests: On May 16, a formal request for Cal and Fed OSHA 300 and 300a logs were sent to 35 employers with employees represented by Local 1245. The Local 1245 Health and Safety Committee will review the logs to locate serious accidents or fatalities to report to the International Union.
New SMUD Safety Committee Appointee: Sean Stevens was recently appointed to the IBEW Local 1245 Health and Safety Committee, replacing recently retired SMUD employee Mark Flanders. Stevens is 20-year IBEW member who has served on the SMUD Safety Committee for the last five years and the apprentice committee for an additional five years. Sean works in the Underground Network Department as a journeyman cable splicer and electrician. Prior to joining Local 1245, Sean spent 18 years with IBEW Local 340 in Sacramento. The Local 1245 Health and Safety Committee is pleased to welcome Brother Stevens to the Committee.
Industrial Painter Hearing: IBEW Local 1245 was invited to participate in a California Dept. of Occupational Safety and Health hearing on proposed amendments to Title 8 CCR Section 1695, Industrial Painter Certification. Representatives of industrial contractors, state divisions and labor organizations met to discuss changing regulations to require that industrial painters be certified in their craft by a third party administrator who would monitor training and work eligibility. Incidents such as falls, silicosis and high cancer rates due to “chronic painter syndrome” have brought to light the dangers of industrial painting. PG&E industrial painter and IBEW 1245 member Ken Meyer, accompanied by Business Representative Rich Lane, attended the hearing on May 11. Cal DOSH has a future hearing planned. The rules change request was proposed by Robert Williams, Business Representative for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.