The death of a lineman electrocuted while repairing a 7,200-volt power line near Winter, Wisconsin sparked an OHSA investigation that resulted in fines and citations against North Central Power Co., Inc.

OSHA’s action against the Radisson electrical power generation, transmission and distribution company took the form of four willful violations and two serious citations, which carry a proposed $199,800 in fines.

"North Central Power has jeopardized the health and safety of its workers by failing to take proper safety precautions, such as requiring the use of personal protective gear and de-energizing power lines," said Mark Hysell, OSHA's area director in Eau Claire, Wis. "Employers are responsible for knowing what hazards exist in their workplaces and ensuring that workers are not exposed to risks that could result in injury or death."

The worker was killed on Aug. 8, 2010. The willful violations are for failing to ensure that employees were protected from energized parts by wearing insulated gloves and sleeves, failing to de-energize power lines, test lines and equipment, and not installing protective grounds on lines and equipment.

The two serious citations are for allowing employees to operate chainsaws without leg and foot protection and failing to conduct jobsite safety briefings

The new set of citations puts North Central Power Co. Inc. into OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which focuses on employers who commit willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations.