Santa Rosa and Cal/OSHA have reached a final settlement over a 2020 electrical accident that claimed the life of an employee at the city’s Laguna Treatment Plant.
The city agreed to pay $55,000 in fines in connection with five citations. Breaker Switch
“The citations included the failure to de-energize the equipment at the plant, properly ground the equipment, conduct a staff briefing prior to work being performed, and to have an employee able to render immediate assistance,” Lon Peterson, Santa Rosa’s communications director, confirmed via email Thursday.
Santa Rosa officials announced the settlement with California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health in a statement.
“The safety of our employees is paramount, and the city is committed to ongoing safety training and the continual improvement of procedures to prevent workplace accidents,” the statement said.
On Sept. 30, 2020, Daryl Clark, a 12-year Santa Rosa Water employee, was electrocuted while working on an energized subpanel.
A subpanel is used to add more circuit breakers in a separate space from the main breaker panel.
Clark, 58, was a water systems technician and was responsible for maintaining 41 miles of pipeline that ran from the Laguna plant to the Calpine steam fields in The Geysers.
He left behind his wife, four children, 12 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
“The city of Santa Rosa is still recovering from the tragic loss of our colleague, and our thoughts remain with Daryl’s family and friends,” the statement said.
Cal/OSHA investigated the accident and initially identified seven violations totaling $97,500 in fines, according to OSHA’s inspection database.
To address the five citations in the settlement, the city hired an electrical safety expert to review and recommend safety enhancements “including updating standard operating procedures for the de-energization and grounding of equipment and the restructuring of workgroups based on expertise,” Peterson said.
The city also updated the Water Department’s safety program and policies, provided additional safety and training requirements for employees, developed new job safety plans and submitted a detailed safety and operations plan to Cal/OSHA for approval.
You can reach Staff Writer Emma Murphy at 707-521-5228 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @MurphReports.
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