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Worker electrocuted at Desert Hot Springs elementary school

A worker was killed in a workplace accident on September 6 in Desert Hot Springs, California. Preliminary reports indicate that the worker, an electrician, handled a live wire while replacing a “power pack” on a lighting fixture for a classroom at Julius Corsini Elementary school in Desert Hot Springs.

The fatal worksite accident was reported around 4:30 in the afternoon. Emergency responders rushed the injured worker, a 33-year-old Compton man, to an area hospital. Doctors pronounced the worker dead at the medical facility roughly 45 minutes after the accident occurred.

The electrician apparently was using a fiberglass step ladder to access the power pack. The Riverside County Coroner’s Office says that the man was electrocuted when he grabbed a hot line. The California Division of Occupational Safety was called in and will investigate the fatal work accident.

The man’s employer is a subcontractor for a building systems company hired by the Palm Springs Unified School District, according to The Desert Sun.

Electrical accidents are far too common in industrial and construction settings. The federal government lists electrocutions as being among the most common causes of fatal accidents in the construction industry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration lists electrocution as among what the workplace safety agency calls “the fatal four.”

Falls at construction sites lead the way for cause of death nationally in the construction industry. A worker being struck by an object and electrocution are joined by workers being pinned between objects to round out the top four.

Specific statistics concerning electrocutions in the broader category of industrial accidents are more difficult to track. While electrical accidents may be fatal, workers may also suffer a variety of injuries in non-fatal work accidents, including serious burn injuries.

Source: The Desert Sun, “Cal/OSHA investigating Desert Hot Springs electrocution,” Brett Kelman, Sept. 2013

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