US Department of Labor cites Savannah space remediation company, after 32-year-old lead repair technician suffers fatal electrocution
East Coast Crawl LLC failed to have power lines deenergized before work began
SAVANNAH, GA – A federal workplace safety investigation into how an employee suffered a fatal electrocution while digging a shallow drainage trench under a home has found that a Savannah crawl space remediation company might have prevented the incident by following required safety standards.
U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators determined the 32-year-old lead repair technician employed by East Coast Crawl LLC – operating as Crawlspace Medic of Savannah – came into contact with an electrical line on April 18, 2022, as they installed a drain to remove accumulating water.
OSHA cited the company for not making sure to deenergize electrical lines before allowing employees to work and dig within the danger zone, which exposed workers to electrical shock hazards. East Coast Crawl also failed to train employees to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions, did not provide personal protective equipment for working in a confined space, and failed to identify all permit-required confined spaces. OSHA has proposed $31,284 in penalties.
“Working in confined spaces presents hazards that can be fatal if they go unrecognized and are not appropriately mitigated,” explained OSHA Acting Area Director Jerred Stevens in Savannah, Georgia. “Employers have a legal responsibility to provide and ensure their employees have a safe workplace, but East Coast Crawl failed to follow federal safety requirements, and this worker’s family, friends and co-workers are left to grieve.”
In 2020, hazardous exposure to electricity claimed the lives of 126 workers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
East Coast Crawl LLC, a Crawlspace Medic LLC franchise, operates 24 locations across the U.S.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Visit OSHA’s website for information on developing a workplace safety and health program. Employers can also contact the agency about OSHA’s compliance assistance resources and its free help for complying with OSHA standards.