Arc Flash Accident in Cartersville, GA

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Arc Flash Accident in Cartersville, GA

A 48-year-old electrician suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns to his hands, arms, and torso last October at Georgia Power’s Plant Bowen generating facility in Cartersville, GA.  The electrician was employed by ABB, Inc., a contractor hired by Georgia Power to perform maintenance. The equipment the electrician was working on was energized at the time of work. Officials have reported that the worker will recover from his injuries.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) later determined the explosion happened as the result of human error resulting in a buildup of air and hydrogen inside a generator.

Georgia Power received two repeated, five serious and two other-than-serious safety citations.

The company’s serious violations relate to its failure to:

  • Ensure proper grounding of electrical equipment.
  • Inform other employers of their electrical lockout program.
  • Provide adequate procedures for electrical energy isolation.

Georgia Power’s repeat violations include not developing a specific clearance procedure for the job and not verifying absence of voltage on the equipment before work began. These two violations alone have proposed fines of $77,000. Georgia Power was previously cited for similar violations in 2014 at this facility.

The other-than-serious violations did not incur any fines.

ABB Inc. was issued two serious citations: failure to coordinate with other employers on the specific requirements of removing power from equipment before maintenance and servicing, and exposing workers to electrical hazards.

Hugh Hoagland

does research and testing of PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Hugh is a Sr. Consultant at ArcWear and Sr. Partner at e-Hazard. Read more about Hugh.

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