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.
(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.
A young man is in critical condition tonight after a ladder he was moving came into contact with power lines. It happened around 3:15 this afternoon on North Highland Street, near Route 50, in the Ashton Heights neighborhood.
The man, who’s in his mid-20s, was working as a contract employee for College Pro Painters, firefighters said.
According to Arlington County Fire Department spokesperson Jose Ortiz, the man was trying to position the ladder on a house he was working on, when it fell backwards onto 19,900 volt power lines. The man was severely burned and was knocked back nearly nine feet by the electrical shock.
The man was without a pulse when paramedics arrived but was resuscitated and brought to a nearby hospital, Ortiz said. He’s now being transferred to the MedStar burn unit in Northwest Washington. His injuries are described as life-threatening.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be investigating the accident. Authorities are keeping power on until OSHA investigators arrive on the scene.