Kylan Warren, age 25, a Georgia power lineman, succumbed to burn injuries sustained in July after a crew he was working with accidentally drilled into a subsurface gas line while placing utility poles. He suffered burns to 80 percent of his body and was in the Grady burn unit for one month prior to his death.
Workplace safety is a team effort, and involves more than just the efforts of an employer. Contractors, sub-contractors, and utility companies each play a role in maintaining a safe working environment. A sub-surface utility line, such as the one Mr. Warren was working near, should be adequately marked. Not only should the utility accurately mark the sub-surface line, but a representative from the utility (in this case Atlanta Gas Light) should be present at the morning tailgate meeting to ensure the lineman and contractors know where the sub-surface gas line is located and know how to avoid it. The OSHA investigation should reveal AGL’s role in Mr. Warren’s death and provide guidance on how incidents like his can be avoided in the future.