A journeyman electrician was fatally injured when he contacted a buss bar. The electrical system was a 120/240 3 phase delta with a 240-volt high leg on the C phase. The main panel had three sub breakers for the three subpanels; A, B, and C, located in the same room. The injured employee was working at the main panel.
A safety and human factors analysis included a review of all relevant depositions and other discovery documents, reports, training records, photographs, etc. In addition, a review of relevant research materials, codes, and standards related to acceptable workplace safety practices and standards was performed.
On multi-employer worksites each employer and their employees are required to comply with OSHA and other recognized safety practices and procedures during specialized construction operations, including electrical. The exposing employer’s failure to reasonably provide a place of employment which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to its employees was a cause of the subject accident.
Based on the expertise of the specialty electrical contractor, the property owner was justified in relying on the specialty electrical contractor’s expertise so long as the reliance was reasonable, and the property owner had no reason to foresee that the work would be performed unsafely.