OSHAIn 2004,OSHA issued citations and proposed penalties to Pieper Electric, Inc., of Milwaukee, Wis., for failing to protect workers from electrical hazards. The penalty and OSHA citations are based on an inspection initiated in September 2003 following an incident at a Racine, Wis., wastewater treatment facility where Pieper Electric was contracted to furnish and install various electrical equipment.

On September 23, three Pieper employees were severely burned by an arc flash and explosion that occurred while they were testing an electrical switchgear unit. OSHA cited the firm for a serious violation of federal training requirements and willful violations of lack of personal protective gear and for failing to de-energize or effectively guard exposed live equipment parts.

Pieper Electric, Inc., employs approximately 430 workers nationwide and had 16 workers on the Racine project at the time of the accident. The company has been inspected 63 times at various job sites since 1972 and has been issued a total of 13 serious and 40 other violations.

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.