Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Misconduct Kills Yet Another Worker?

One worker killed and one injured in an apparent confined space incident and the first explanation our of the Virginia OSHA representative’s mouth is that it could have been “employee misconduct.” Sheesh!

It looks like a couple of contractors were running electrical cabling at a wastewater plant pump station when they were overcome by toxic vapors and fell from the first floor into the basement.

Here’s what Virginia OSHA said:
Electrical companies are required to meet a variety of state safety regulations that cover everything from testing the air's oxygen content in confined spaces to maintaining and wearing proper fall protection equipment, according to Jim Mann, regional director of the labor and industry department.

"Sometimes you can have all the required guards and someone can still circumvent them and have an accident," Mann said. "Employee misconduct is an affirmative defense if the company has met all the requirements."