This case involves an electrician who was called to fix a malfunction of an electrical transformer at a Washington construction site. Despite the electrician’s unfamiliarity with the construction site, the electrician was not warned of any particular hazards. The electrician proceeded to open the transformer box using a long pole to keep a distance. To maneuver the pole, the electrician took a few steps back. He subsequently fell into an unmarked hole in the ground that was approximately 2 feet deep and concealed by debris. The electrician suffered severe damage to both his legs and lower back which permanently disabled him.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please briefly describe your familiarity with the subject matter described above.
- 2. Can you speak to the warnings required at construction sites, and the proper OSHA compliance as it relates to this case?
- 3. Have you ever served as an expert on a similar case? If so, please explain.
Expert Witness Response E-008521
Given my extensive background in engineering and occupational safety, I certainly understand the issues at play in this case. It certainly is a reasonable expectation that a hole of this size would be marked to avoid these sorts of accidents.
Expert Witness Response E-009380
On the surface this sounds like a walking and working surface issue covered by OSHA 1910 sub-part D and 1926 sub-part M. ANSI standards like ANSI/ASSE A1264.1 may also come into play depending on the circumstances. It sounds like the hole should have guarded or covered. I can opine on warnings both as to the need for and the proper warning.