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Section: 56.12004
Date: 09/26/2013
District: SE
Negligence: Moderate
Injury or Illness: Reasonbly Likely
Injury or illness could be expected to be: Fatal
Significant and Substantial: Yes

Condition or Practice: The positive welding lead attached to the Miller Big Blue 400P welder was not being properly maintained. The outer insulation was damaged in three places exposing the inner copper current carrying conductors. The three damaged areas measured 13 feet 6 inches, 36 feet, and 44 feet 6 inches from the electrode holder. The welder is capable of producing 450 amps and is usually operated from 120-140- amps. The welder is located on the bed of the Ford F-Super Duty welding truck company #1115. The welder was last used yesterday in the pit area of the mine. This exposes a miner to an electrical shock in the event of a direct grounding condition due to the exposed inner current carrying conductors.

Action to Terminate: The exposed inner current conductors are now provided with the outer insulation. This citation is terminated.

Why this concerns you: We do not contest the fact that there was one area with a cut that could expose the inner wires, but we completely disagree with the gravity of the citation. It should not have been S&S, reasonably likely or fatal in the gravity determination. It seems that the large majority of electrical violations are written as reasonably likely and fatal when statistics from MSHA show otherwise. Though it is possible to have a fatality from this, it is not reasonably likely that an injury would occur and it is certainly not reasonably expected that that injury would be fatal, according to MSHA's own statistics on electrical injuries reported. In some cases it has been found that only 3% of electrical injuries lead to a fatality. The citation should not have been S&S, reasonably likely and fatal. We accept the possible violation but certainly not the severity as it is written.

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