OSHA has cited Maryland-based contractor Power Factor LLC for exposing workers to electrical hazards after an employee was fatally electrocuted while installing solar panels on a building in Fort Riley, Kansas.

Inspectors determined that the employee was hoisting a metal rail that came into contact with energized overhead power lines. OSHA cited Power Factor LLC for permitting employees to work in close proximity to electrical power circuits without de-energizing and grounding the circuits, or guarding the circuits using insulation or other means; and failing to maintain a safety program to conduct regular inspections of the jobsite, and train workers to recognize and avoid hazards. The company faces penalties of $39,836 for four serious violations.

“This tragedy could have been prevented if the employer had complied with electrical standards that require maintaining a safe distance from unprotected energized power lines, training employees, and providing personal protective equipment,” said OSHA Wichita Area Director Ryan Hodge.