SAFETY VIOLATIONFRANKFORT, Ky. (1/3/17) — The Kentucky Public Service Commission has fined Jackson Purchase Energy Corp. for safety violations that contributed to the January 2017 fatal electrocution of an employee of the electric distribution cooperative.

In an order issued today, the PSC said it found eight separate safety violations and assessed the maximum penalty of $2,500 for each one. Jackson Purchase was ordered to pay the $20,000 total penalty within 30 days.

Jackson Purchase lineman Joshua Franklin was fatally injured on Jan. 6, 2017, when he came into contact with a 7,200-volt line that he and another lineman had been sent to repair.

The violations cited by the PSC are related mostly to the failure of the Jackson Purchase employees to take safety precautions that are required when working on lines that are or may be energized.

Physical evidence from the scene of the accident and other information gathered by PSC investigators suggested that the employees assumed the line was not conducting electricity. However, the uninjured employee, who was the supervisor at the scene, stated that the repairs were begun with the assumption that the line was energized.

The supervisor also said that a safety device on the line indicated there was no power flowing through the line. In fact, a subsequent inspection of the safety device found that the device was faulty and was falsely indicating that the power was off when in fact it was not.

In assessing the contradictory evidence, the PSC found that the most likely explanation for the accident was that Franklin wrongly assumed that the line was not energized when he ascended in a bucket truck to begin making repairs.

The PSC concluded that Franklin did not test the line to make sure that it was not energized. Furthermore, the incorrect assumption led Franklin to forego the use of protective equipment, the PSC found. Thus, he did not comply with safety requirements.

“His failure to do so led to his tragic death,” the PSC said in today’s order.

Jackson Purchase Energy is one of three electric distribution cooperatives that own and purchase power from Big Rivers Electric Corp. Jackson Purchase is based in Paducah and serves about 30,000 customers in six western Kentucky counties.

The PSC conducted an evidentiary hearing in the case on Aug. 15, 2017.

The video of that hearing, the PSC investigation report, and other records in the case are available on the PSC website, psc.ky.gov. The case number is 2017-00202.

The PSC is an independent agency attached for administrative purposes to the Energy and Environment Cabinet. It regulates more than 1,500 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in Kentucky.
 
SurfKY News

sitelogosm© Copyright 2008 - 2018 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission.

Click here to subscribe to receive daily updates by email.

Most Read This Week

Oct 15, 2018 5339

MPD: Tip ties Greenville Woman to 2-year Murder Investigation

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
Oct 14, 2018 2904

Pickup Overturns Off Ilsley Road

by Ladonna Kay Lee
Oct 15, 2018 2626

Man Charged with Rape after Alleged Meeting with Minor

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
Oct 14, 2018 1822

Soap Box Champions take Podium at Baldwin Track Saturday

by Ladonna Kay Lee

 

Most Read This Month

Weather brought to you by

43°
°F | °C
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 81%
Tue
Cloudy
41 | 58
5 | 14
Wed
Partly Cloudy
42 | 61
5 | 16
Thu
Partly Cloudy
38 | 56
3 | 13
Fri
Rain
39 | 59
3 | 15

Stories Trending Today

Market Report

Market Report brought to you by