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Work Stoppage After Construction Worker Electrocuted

by Katie Pyzyk — September 5, 2012 at 3:19 pm 6,028 29 Comments

Construction has stopped on the new apartment building at 2201 N. Pershing Drive in Lyon Park, following the electrocution death of a worker.

According to police, two individuals were doing work on an electrical panel inside a closet. One of the workers walked away to get more supplies, and then heard a strange noise. Upon returning, he found the victim being electrocuted. The co-worker ran to get a board or some other object to knock the victim away from the electrical panel, but by the time he returned, the worker was unconscious.

Emergency crews administered CPR at the scene, and the victim was transported to Virginia Hospital Center with critical injuries. The man, believed to be in his 20s, died shortly after. According to police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, the department is working to find and notify the victim’s family members, who do not live in the area.

Work has been suspended at the site and police remain on scene while OSHA performs an investigation.

Although the apartment complex started leasing earlier this year, construction has been plagued with delays. The first wave of renters was expected to move in starting in July, but so far the building is not ready for inhabitants.

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  • Mary-Austin

    That photo looks strange. Looks more like a rendering.

    • Mary-Austin

      Also, very sad news.

      • newty25

        Very sad. I wonder why they took him to VHC? We had this discussion before and the RN said VHC was not equipped for a life threatening medical emergency.

        • Not an RN

          The Patient was taken to the closest hospital due to his condition where if he were able to be stabilized he could be transferred to a more appropriate facility for more specialized care. For the record, VHC is very capable of handling life threatening emergencies and does so on a daily basis. However, in the case of trauma patients who are not in cardiac arrest it is more appropriate to take the patient to a Level 1 trauma center such as George Washington Hospital or Fairfax Hospital. Burns are usually taken to the Burn Unit at Washington Hospital Center. The paramedics in Arlington are well versed in where a patient will get the most appropriate care and this is always considered when a patient is transported.

          • Confused

            Not the most scientific approach, but…

            Mapquest says that George Washington University Hospital (a Level 1 Trauma Center per your statement) is 3.23 miles away and that the trip can be made in 7 minutes. It says that Arlington Hospital is 2.83 miles away, but that the trip will take 8 minutes. That makes it pretty much a 50/50 choice as to which one is closer, so why wouldn’t they go to the facility that has more advanced / specialized resources???

          • Regis

            Because they probably realized he was not going to survive either way.

    • craig

      i thought the same thing

    • YTK

      Not a rendering – that crane is still there. I doubt they’d put cop cars in an architectural rendering (of an apartment bldg, anyway) Passed by the crane and the bldg this morning. Felt so sorry for that man. RIP.

  • SHLady

    Wow, that’s so sad. Condolences to his family.

  • condolences

    What an awful way to go. RIP

  • Bella Luna

    Sad news. My condolences to the family. RIP.

  • Autoexec.bat

    Very sad. I got a healthy jolt from a baseball field scoreboard once and it wasn’t pleasant.

    On this note, I’ve always wondered if you could just get a running start and form tackle someone who is being electrocuted and knock them to safety. You’d get some jolt, but your momentum would carry you both away from immediate danger.

    Sound legit?

    • Deadite

      Gotta go with a roundhouse in that situation.

    • Ring my bell

      Always wondered that myself–anyone got a serious answer?

    • YTK

      I accidentally grabed an Accel High Output Coil once when the engine was running — will never forget that. Actually pinched myself, then called out to a friend to get a response, and to assure myself that no I was not dead .

  • CrystalMikey

    So sad. RIP.

  • Arlingtonian

    [Post removed per comment policy]

    • Tabby_TwoTone

      You’re not funny.

  • http://www.gerberconstructioncompany.com Gerber Construction

    that’s so sad :( also Arlingtonian seriously not funny

  • UA

    This makes me wonder if he was a properly trained electrician or a transient that the company was using to save some money. I do realize even the best electrician’s make mistakes but I know with the proper training those mistakes happen far less. Also curious how much effort the company will put forth to find the family when they could (possibly) be negligent.

    • UA

      sorry for typos.. no coffee yet

    • Mel

      Does coffee also keep you from making pure speculation?

    • no expert but …

      This isn’t just speculation. UA is asking legitimate questions that deserves to be asked. Training does save lives … or at least significantly reduces fatalities. People think construction work is just about being strong carry heavy loads and not much else. But it’s incredibly dangerous work.

    • T Jack

      They were not following proper protocol. As electricians we are suppose to follow the NFP70 E guidelines.. Work nothing hot unless infeasible or creates a greater risk. If it must be worked hot there is specific PPE ( personal protective equipment) that is to be worn, as well as rules to follow. So while tragic it was completely preventable.

    • Veteran electrician

      UA you are not speculating. The electrocuted man it was 40 years old Alfredo Flores Gutierrez a Mexican national with a wife and kids in Mexico and no next of kin in the United States.He was under my supervision for about one year in a project in Washington DC. It was a pleasure working with him, always happy and a honest and hard worker. Alfredo was a good helper but at that time ( around 2009/2010) he was not qualified to do electrical work without close supervision. Unless him was able to get training and experience between that year and the day of his death, I can surely agree that he should have never been asked to work in a hot panel ( 480 volts ) without an arc suit or other protection equipment. Yes you are right, a lot of electrical companies try to save money by using under qualified/ underpaid workers. Somebody is responsibly for this ” accident” and should be fined and forced to compensate his widow.
      It is really a sad situation, in 35 years working in the electrical trade i heard about dozens of accidental deaths by electrocutions, I never knew personally anybody dying from this cause until now.
      Wish i could give my condolences to his family.

  • no expert but …

    And I’ve had coffee … but am leaving work and hurried … I meant to say “being strong and having to carry heavy loads …”

  • nathan

    the supply could have been isolated else where and turned on as he was working. again just speculation. construction is a very dangerous occupation 1 third of deaths at work are in construction but only about 10 percent of the population work in construction. i am a joiner studying health and safety, most of what im studying is rarely practiced at any place i have worked, and when it is its usualy before and during an inspection from senior management. i think it is the attitudes of management that need adressing most.

  • nathan

    oh and today i got told to where a dust mask to protect me from h2s and that stagnent water with untreated sludge in it has no biological health hazards. ps i am looking for a new job lol

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