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OSHA Cites Lawn Care Company in Electrocution Death of Worker

Leonardo Estrada, 23, of Providence, died after he hit a live electrical wire with a tree-cutting tool.

 

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced today that it has cited AAA Professional Lawn Care Inc. of Johnston for seven "serious violations of workplace safety standards" following the July 30 electrocution death of one of its workers.

Leonardo Estrada, 23, of Providence, died after a tree-cutting tool he was using hit a live 12,500-volt electrical wire on Country View Drive.

In a statement, OSHA Rhode Island Area Director Patrick Griffin said the agency found that the company failed to take the proper safety precautions.

“This worker’s death could have been prevented had AAA Professional Lawn Care ensured that the power line was de-energized or otherwise properly protected,” said Griffin. “Further, the company should have provided ensured the use of proper equipment, training and work practices to minimize this deadly but avoidable hazard.”

Specifically, OSHA alleges that the company:

  • failed to ground the power line before the work was begun;
  • did not provide protective shields or materials to orptect workers
  • allowed Estrada to use an uninsulated pruner within 10 feet of the power line;
  • had not properly trained Estrada or provided him with protective gloves; and
  • "did not institute work practices to reduce the electrical hazard," according to the OSHA release.

AAA faces up to $49,000 in fines, and has 15 days to respond to the agency's decision. 

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