A California energy company is investigating the death of a worker on the
job. The worker, a 38-year-old distribution lineman, was working on a
piece of underground equipment when an explosion killed him. Three other
workers were taken to a hospital for smoke inhalation.
Southern California Edison, the power company for which the man was working,
said it does not know why explosion happened. The explosion does not appear
related to a copper theft that caused a power outage affecting 22,000
people, according to the company.
The man, an 11-year-veteran of the company, was performing maintenance
on an underground vault. About 12,000 volt transmission lines feed the
vault, which provides power for a desalination plant. A neighbor who was
home at the time said he heard a boom. At first, he thought there was
an accident or that someone had run into something at first.
Although much is not known about the man's death at this time, one
thing is certain: Electrical lineman have dangerous jobs. Linemen typically
work outside installing and maintaining equipment used for the transmission
and distribution of electricity. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
electrical power-line installers and repairers had a fatal injury rate
in 2011 of 19.5 per 100,000 full-time workers. The overall injury rate
for workers during 2011 was 3.5 per 100,000 full-time workers.
The legal process after a worker death can be complex. Workers' compensation
may prohibit lawsuits against employers, but in some cases wrongful death
suits may be filed against third parties who contributed to accidents.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics; ABC 7, "Southern California Edison worker
killed in Menifee industrial accident identified," Rob McMillan,
April 25, 2013 - Our law firm handles fatal accidents, including electrical
accidents and explosions, in the Los Angeles area. Visit our
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