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EXCLUSIVE: College Pro Painters Fined Following Electrical Accident

(Updated on 9/30) Citing “serious” violations of occupational safety laws, Virginia’s Department of Labor and Industry has slapped Massachusetts-based College Pro Painters with a $14,875 fine for a near-fatal electrical accident in Ashton Heights on June 16.

A painter in his mid-20’s nearly died after the ladder he was using touched 19,900 volt power lines at a home on North Highland Street. The employee was burned and knocked back nearly 9 feet by the electrical shock. He was without a pulse when paramedics arrived on the scene, but was resuscitated and eventually transported to the MedStar burn unit in DC.

At the time, College Pro Painters president Rodney Larmand told ARLnow.com that the company was “deeply concerned” and was “investigating the circumstances” that led to the accident.

According to a citation obtained by ARLnow.com under the Freedom of Information Act, state safety inspectors determined that the company “failed to ensure employees did not perform any work” that would cause ladders or other equipment “to be placed within 10 feet of any overhead high voltage line.”

The company also failed to work with the power company to make temporary safety arrangements before the work was performed, and “did not ensure first aid supplies were easily accessible,” according to state inspectors.

The company has the right to contest the citation, which was issued earlier this month. Larmand declined to comment on the fine, citing a scheduled meeting with state occupational safety officials on Wednesday.

He did, however, point out that College Pro Painters has a safety record that is “significantly better than industry standard.

“Our safety program is excellent and we plan to continue our current program with improvements and updates for 2011 that will take into consideration our learning from this unfortunate incident,” Larmand said.

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