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OSHA Enforcement: Contractor Cited for Alleged Violations Associated with Installation of Solar Panels

January 10, 2019

By: Walter G. Wright

Category: Arkansas Environmental, Energy, and Water Law

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has proposed citations for alleged violations by Power Factor LLC (“Power Factor”) associated with the installation of solar panels.

The proposed citations were issued for allegedly exposing workers to electrical hazards associated with installation of solar panels on a building in Fort Riley, Kansas.

An employee was stated to have been fatally electrocuted during the installation.

OSHA inspectors are stated to have determined that an employee was hoisting a metal rail that came into contact with energized overhead power lines. The citations allege that Power Factor:

  • permitted employees to work in close proximity to electrical power circuits without de-energizing and grounding the circuits, or guarding the circuits using insulation or other means;
  • failed to maintain a safety program to conduct regular inspections of the jobsite; and
  • failed to train workers to recognize and avoid hazards.

OSHA has proposed penalties in the amount of $39,836 for what it describes as serious violations.

Power Factor has 15 days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s Are Director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

A copy of the OSHA news release can be found here.

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