Here’s a reminder for workers: When they realize a mistake has been made, they need to take all necessary safety precautions while correcting the error, even if it takes more time. Anything else can prove fatal.
Tennessee OSHA has fined J & R Cable $9,050 in connection with the decapitation death of lineman Bruce Marion of Oneida, TN, on July 23, 2012.
J & R was cited for three violations:
- Marion wasn’t using a harness and lanyard while working from a bucket truck
- a flagger wasn’t used to control vehicle traffic while Marion was working from the bucket truck, and
- there was no one trained in first aid at the scene.
The company has until Feb. 22 to decide whether to contest the fine.
Marion was hanging a telephone guy cable across an intersection. First, he attached one end to a utility pole on one side of the intersection.
He then moved the truck to the other utility pole. He made sure the line being installed had enough slack. But when he raised the bucket again, he realized he had improperly secured the cable to the first pole.
Marion lowered the bucket and had the flagger put down the flagging sign, cut the cable from the reel and hand it to him. He raised the bucket again but this time removed slack from the line.
Before the flagger could return to his station, a pickup truck drove over the cable, hooking it on the rear bumper. The cable ripped across Marion and decapitated him. His body fell from the bucket onto the road.
The two changes in procedure — not having slack in the line and moving the flagger from his station — led to the tragic result.