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Region 5 News Release: 11-36-CHI
Feb. 3, 2011
Contact: Scott Allen       Rhonda Burke
Phone: 312-353-6976       312-353-6976
E-mail: allen.scott@dol.gov       burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites North Central Power Co. Inc.
after worker fatally electrocuted near Winter, Wis.

RADISSON, Wis. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited North Central Power Co. Inc. of Radisson, following an investigation into the death of a lineman who was electrocuted while working to repair a 7,200-volt power line on Aug. 8, 2010, near Winter, Wis. The company has been issued citations for willful and serious safety violations.

"North Central Power has jeopardized the health and safety of its workers by failing to take proper safety precautions, such as requiring the use of personal protective gear and de-energizing power lines," said Mark Hysell, OSHA's area director in Eau Claire, Wis. "Employers are responsible for knowing what hazards exist in their workplaces and ensuring that workers are not exposed to risks that could result in injury or death."

Four willful violations have been issued to North Central Power Co. Inc., an electrical power generation, transmission and distribution company, for failing to ensure employees were protected from energized parts by wearing insulated gloves and sleeves, de-energize power lines, test lines and equipment, and install protective grounds on lines and equipment. A willful violation exists when an employer has demonstrated either an intentional disregard for the requirements of the law or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

The company also has been issued two serious citations for allowing employees to operate chainsaws without leg and foot protection and failing to conduct jobsite safety briefings. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial