Settlement details

March 11, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

Settlement details

The City of Hagerstown reached a settlement with the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Program concerning 10 alleged violations.

- A "willful" violation was downgraded to "serious." A City Light worker was not wearing a safety belt while about 30 feet above ground in a cherry picker removing a transformer from a utility pole.

- A "serious" violation was sustained. A city employee wasn't wearing a helmet while standing below employees using a cherry picker.

- A "serious" violation was sustained. Crew members at the accident scene did not observe precautions preventing contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials.


- A "serious" violation was sustained. The city did not provide crew members with protective equipment such as gloves or masks.

All first aid kits in line worker trucks and field vehicles used by employees in the water and sewer departments were upgraded to include latex gloves and plastic breathing apparatuses for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, said Jim Grafton, the city's safety coordinator.

- A "serious" violation was sustained. The city didn't immediately have crew members medically evaluated.

The crew was evaluated about 18 hours after the accident, said Eric Marburger, the city's personnel manager.

They were given blood tests for contagious diseases such as HIV and began vaccinations against Hepatitis B as precautions, Grafton said.

- Three "serious" violations were rescinded. All three concerned City Light workers not being included in the city's first aid training for on-the-job exposure to blood-borne pathogens.

- A violation other than serious was sustained. Lifting transformers using a six-foot synthetic web sling that had no markings indicating its capacity limits.

New web slings were bought for all the line worker trucks and capacity limits were marked in two places, Marburger said.

City Light Manager Terry Weaver said the sling on the truck involved in the accident was OK and wasn't being used by more weight than it could handle.

- A violation other than serious was sustained. The equipment was not visually inspected before being used.

Vehicle check lists have since been reviewed every day, Marburger said.

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