Electricution of Plumber

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I read this article, and my sympathies go out to the family. But as I read, they still try to indirectly blame the electrician by saying " That's one more reason why electricians should be trained to have an awareness of the potential consequences of their actions and decisions on other trades/persons who may enter a work site while they are present or at a later time."

I disagree, and I'm sorry, even if the electrician left some 'romex' lieing on the ground, this is still the plumbing companies fault and no fault on the electrician. I know the fined the plumbing company, but to mention the electrician is at fault is not right in my opinion. Whats yours???
heres the link


http://ecmweb.com/grounding/plumber_electrocuted_rigging_connection_0301/index.html
 

iMuse97

Senior Member
Location
Chicagoland
I quickly read that article, and I've got several comments:

1. As fault is determined legally, I don't think the electrician is at fault, or only at fault in a minor percentage
(I don't know if I read all the conditions or completely and accurately pictured the "installation" of either the electrician or the plumber).

2. Where is the plumber's generator?

3. If I had ever left anything like that (or ever run temporary power like that),
I know of companies I've worked for who would find a reduction in force to be necessary in the near future.

4. I will admit to having run temporary testing power from a gennie,
but I've always hooked it in with an approved connection method, ie. splice and wirenut.

5. Thankfully most companies around here will not allow half-baked methods such as described in that article.
 

George Stolz

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Windsor, CO NEC: 2017
Occupation
Service Manager
I remember reading it when it first came out, and I didn't feel like it was the sparky's fault then. I didn't re-read it just now to see if I still felt that way.
 

220/221

Senior Member
Location
AZ
The plumber who "hooked it up" owns 80% of it and the plumber who died contributed 15% by continuing to work after experiencing "several shocks".


Thankfully most companies around here will not allow half-baked methods such as described in that article
I don't see how you can say that the company "allowed" it. The clown hooked it up all by himself. That's like saying the company allowed me to drink and drive.
 
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PetrosA

Senior Member
I don't see how you can say that the company "allowed" it. The clown hooked it up all by himself. That's like saying the company allowed me to drink and drive.

I think if a boss doesn't make it clear to his employees that doing stupid things like that on jobsites won't be tolerated, he may as well tell them it's a free for all...
 

iMuse97

Senior Member
Location
Chicagoland
The plumber who "hooked it up" owns 80% of it and the plumber who died contributed 15% by continuing to work after experiencing "several shocks".

I don't see how you can say that the company "allowed" it. The clown hooked it up all by himself. That's like saying the company allowed me to drink and drive.

You could be a lawyer; are you thinking career change? :grin:

About my "allowing it" comment, I really meant the sparky who left the wire lying on the ground. He shouldn't have done it (left it there, or ever hooked it up that way in the first place) --and the plumber never should have touched it, either.
 
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220/221

Senior Member
Location
AZ
I think if a boss doesn't make it clear to his employees that doing stupid things like that on jobsites won't be tolerated, he may as well tell them it's a free for all...


Wow.

I think everyone should KNOW that you shouldn't do stupid things at work.


I am going to get some stickers for the inside of my trucks that say "Company policy: Do not do anything stupid"

That should cover me.

I really meant the sparky who left the wire lying on the ground. He shouldn't have done it

I suppose that could be considered an "attractive nuisance", not unlike my wife.
 
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iMuse97

Senior Member
Location
Chicagoland
Wow.

I am going to get some stickers for the inside of my trucks that say "Company policy: Do not do anything stupid"

That should cover me.

When you get those stickers made, have 'em make a few extra; I'll take a couple... others might want some. You could have a career in sales, too!!
 

KentAT

Senior Member
Location
Northeastern PA
I am going to get some stickers for the inside of my trucks that say "Company policy: Do not do anything stupid"

That should cover me.

Well, maybe not. You'll still have to have annual training on:

-- what the sticker actually means (are you calling me stupid, and telling me not to do anything?)
-- what the company definition of "stupid" is
-- how to tell if the sticker needs repairing or replacing due to fading, scratches, a change in the ANSI color and graphic methods for "Stupidity Stickers", the fact that someone wrote "this means you, Bubba, etc" on it, or because the dried coffee spill stains make it unreadable
-- how to make sure not to obstruct the sticker, nor the ability of any driver or passenger from being able to view the sticker while in any location designed by the vehicle mfg as a seat
-- how to tell which of the 5 language version of the sticker in the truck is meant for you to read (english, spanish, french, chinese, or redneck)


...and the list goes on

Kent
 

pfalcon

Senior Member
Location
Indiana
... I suppose that could be considered an "attractive nuisance" ...

Attractive Nuisance would pertain to persons unqualified to be on the construction site.

... I really meant the sparky who left the wire lying on the ground. He shouldn't have done it (left it there, or ever hooked it up that way in the first place) --and the plumber never should have touched it, either.

From the text he should never have hooked it up as he did.

As to leaving it there, I've never received a shock from a spool of unattached wire. And it is a construction site. He shouldn't have left it because someone might have sold it off for the copper.
 
Does no one else feel like the GFCI not functioning and still allowing power to pass through is a problem. Even without the blatant negligence in this case, with power hooked up properly, it seems to be a very dangerous situation when your GFCI isn't actually protecting you.

I would propose the NEC push/force the manufacturers to produce only GFCIs that stop delivering power if the protection fails.

Even if the GFCI IS being tested every month... what if it fails the day after it was tested? That's 29 days of potentially unsafe conditions.
 

Jim W in Tampa

Senior Member
Location
Tampa Florida
Sad part is a man died. As to who is at fault i would put that as mostly the plumber, perhaps 90%. Some fault lies with the electrician. While not a legal way to temp. feed a house i think most here have been forced to do the same. He had it unhooked but left it there and that put him partially to blame. The non working gfci receptacle puts the GC and the EC to blame. Had it worked it would have tripped and this man not be dead. Seems it was not tested as required. Also have the issue of it was an indoor receptacle. That has been normal for many many years but is violation. OSHA just wants to site anything and everything to get a huge fine and they could care less who they fine. Unless the GC, EC, Plumbing company have great lawyers they will likely lose in court. Percentage of blame will be up to a judge that knows little if anything about construction. Even 10% could be costly if his relatives go for 10 million or more.
All we can do is use this accident to learn from.
 

Jim W in Tampa

Senior Member
Location
Tampa Florida
Does no one else feel like the GFCI not functioning and still allowing power to pass through is a problem. Even without the blatant negligence in this case, with power hooked up properly, it seems to be a very dangerous situation when your GFCI isn't actually protecting you.

I would propose the NEC push/force the manufacturers to produce only GFCIs that stop delivering power if the protection fails.

Even if the GFCI IS being tested every month... what if it fails the day after it was tested? That's 29 days of potentially unsafe conditions.

I agree that they need to be made better. Did a service call about 8 years ago to fix a gfi at a pool deck that the HI had caught as not tripping. House was only few years old. How long had it not been working i do not know but it was a danger that as far as i know luckily did not kill. Perhaps we would not care to pay $100 for ones that can't fail.
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
That's why when people come to me and say "it's only temporary", I remind them that electricity doesn't know it's temporary.

There's no such thing as temporary, once you turn it on the current is flowing, for how long is not relevant.
 
I agree that they need to be made better. Did a service call about 8 years ago to fix a gfi at a pool deck that the HI had caught as not tripping. House was only few years old. How long had it not been working i do not know but it was a danger that as far as i know luckily did not kill. Perhaps we would not care to pay $100 for ones that can't fail.

I think it is more likely that having the GFCIs power down if the protection fails would most likely be a very cheap and easy change. My guess is the real problem comes when everyone starts to realize that their GFCIs stop working after an unacceptably short matter of time. A problem that would normally go unnoticed for the life of the receptacle.
 

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
I disagree, and I'm sorry, even if the electrician left some 'romex' lieing on the ground, this is still the plumbing companies fault and no fault on the electrician. I know the fined the plumbing company, but to mention the electrician is at fault is not right in my opinion. Whats yours???
heres the link.http://

The plumbing company is at fault for the death of their worker but the EC is not innocent of OSHA violations.

When you install temporary power you are responsible for the safety of that temp system until it's removed. If anyone wants to just install a temp power pole and just leave it they are taking a big chance. The EC that installs the temp power is responsible for safety checks of the system and if they don't perform those checks they are in violation of OSHA regulations. Most OSHA violations are a matter of companies not keeping proper records anyway.

As far as leaving Romex laying around that could easily be considered a trip hazard and failure to clean up the job site. It not good practice to leave materials just laying around on a job site.
 

pfalcon

Senior Member
Location
Indiana
Does no one else feel like the GFCI not functioning and still allowing power to pass through is a problem...

I feel it's a huge problem. All my safety equipment on machines must fail off. Why not the GFCI?

... He had it unhooked but left it there and that put him partially to blame. ...

I strongly disagree. The plumber was familiar with construction sites. A pile of romex does not constitute fault on the ELs part when left on site. If we are going that way then we need OSHA to start citing construction companies for leaving any work materials on site overnight including the incomplete structure.
 

Sierrasparky

Senior Member
Location
USA
Occupation
Electrician ,contractor
I have a question about the temp installation?
How is that the GFCI did not trip when it energized the lighting and power.
How did it not trip during a shock?
 

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
After reading this article again I noticed that it was plumber "Jim" that connected the power to the house and it was plumber "Dave" that end up getting electrocuted.

We just assume that plumbers are pretty dumb when it comes to electrical matters but who's to say this was an accident?

This is a much better scenario for murder than the one they came up with for a seemingly accidential electrocution on the TV program CSI. All Jim has to do is pretend he had no idea what he was doing, a much better plan than drowning Dave in the toilet. :grin:
 

Jim W in Tampa

Senior Member
Location
Tampa Florida
I feel it's a huge problem. All my safety equipment on machines must fail off. Why not the GFCI?



I strongly disagree. The plumber was familiar with construction sites. A pile of romex does not constitute fault on the ELs part when left on site. If we are going that way then we need OSHA to start citing construction companies for leaving any work materials on site overnight including the incomplete structure.

This from what i understand was not simply a role of romex laying on job site. We all know that would not last an hour around workers. My understanding is the electrician simply pulled the wires out of the gfi. That made it far to easy for someone thinking they know how to do it to simply stick wires back in. Problem was the plumber did not know enough to be doing this. Not by far putting all of blame on him but he did play a part in it. This was a case of more than 1 step causing accident. First is the defective gfi, 2nd was leaving the wire even if unhooked, 3rd was plumber not using his own cords. Who is to blame is not as important as a man who likely was a father and husband lost his life because of this. Fines and judgements will not bring him back. I was often forced into doing the same. Tell your boss you wont do it and he might just rethink sending you out on jobs.
 
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