Edison fined $2 million in Huntington Beach accident that left worker dead in 2013. The utility illegally delegated its safety responsibilities to a contractor, CAM Contractors
By City News Service | UPDATED: June 29, 2017 at 6:49 pm
HUNTINGTON BEACH — Southern California Edison was fined $2 million by the California Public Utilities Commission for an accident at an underground vault in Huntington Beach that killed an employee nearly four years ago.
Brandon Orozco, who worked for an Edison subcontractor, accidentally removed an energized “dead-break elbow” while preparing underground cables for testing, which resulted in his death on Sept. 30, 2013.
The fine was part of a negotiated settlement agreement with Edison.
“The CPUC’s Safety and Enforcement Division investigated the incident an alleged that SCE delegated its safety responsibilities to its contractor in violation of CPUC decisions and California law,” according to a statement from the utilities commission. “SCE failed to ensure that its contractor and subcontractor performed their work safely. Today’s fine approves a settlement agreement between the Safety and Enforcement Division and SCE.”
Orozco worked for CAM Contractors. The utility illegally delegated its safety responsibilities to a contractor, according to the watchdog
The commission praised Edison for taking quick action to investigate the accident and implement reforms.
Edison “took steps to create a series of enhancements to its safety practices and procedures prior to the CPUC opening the penalty consideration case that was concluded today,” said Commissioner Liane M. Randolph. “This is the type of action that all of our utilities should take immediately following any kind of incident. By waiting for a formal CPUC proceeding to be opened or even a CPUC decision regarding an incident, more lives and property are put at risk.”
HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Authorities Tuesday identified the 28-year-old contract worker who was killed in an underground electrical vault explosion in Huntington Beach.
Brandon Orozco, of Whittier, died Monday at 16282 Tisbury Circle, according to Lt. Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Firefighters on scene saw heavy smoke coming from the vault and were told that a worker was trapped underground.
A CAM Construction Inc. crew was contracted to work in the vault, which holds Southern California Edison equipment, according to Huntington Beach Fire Capt. Bob Culhane.
Culhane added that the fire started during a scheduled five-hour power outage. Cal/OSHA is investigating.