James Bea was going about his day repairing a broken water main for Arlington County; a typical task for county employees. Unfortunately, this repair would be Mr. Bea’s last. He suffered a fatal jolt of electricity while trying to remove a lighting rig from the work area, according to the Arlington Connection. Another worker suffered a serious injury – electrical burns.
Mr. Bea was only 59 years old. My sympathies go out to his family and his co-workers.
OSHA is investigating the scene of the accident which took place at Old Glebe Road. In 2008, nearly 1,000 fatal accidents occurred due to “contact with objects and equipment.” From 1992-2002 there were over 1,600 industrial accidents in Virginia (VA).
Fortunately, electrical industrial accidents aren’t commonplace, but they’re usually tragic when they do occur. The worker who suffered electrical burns could face months, even years, of rehabilitation including skin grafts and maybe even plastic surgery.
I hope the OSHA investigation reveals what exactly went wrong so terrible accidents of this nature can be avoided in the future.