Lumby man’s death ruled an accident

A Lumby man’s death at a B.C. Hydro substation in eastern B.C. has been classified as accidental.

Provincial coroner Brenda Downey ruled that Brandon William Beday, 33, died of cardiac arrhythmia, the result of electrocution, on Aug. 16, 2010, at a substation near Cranbrook.

In her three-page report, Downey said Beday was terminating current transformer (CT) secondary conductors in a new transformer primary protection and standby protection panel just after 7 p.m. on Aug. 16, 2010. This was being done under the direction of a communication, protection and control technologist.

One of the secondary cables to be terminated in the panels was energized because the cables remained in service as part of the power system to Hydro customers.

Downey’s report says the technologist provided inaccurate information to Beday by stating that all of the secondary cables were de-energized for termination. Beday terminated the conductors of two de-energized cables and while this work was being done, the technologist was called away to assist another electrician in the substation.

Beday sustained an electrocution when he tried to separate the third cable he believed to be de-energized.

An investigation revealed that the secondary cable was not labeled or tagged to indicate its energized status or potential hazard, and there was no B.C. Hydro procedure requiring such labelling or tagging of de-energized cables.

The technologist told the investigators he tagged or labelled “approximately 50 per cent of the time,” but had no explanation as to the reason he chose to do so.

No testing was done for energy prior to Beday separating conductors of a secondary cable, and there is no Hydro procedure for performing this work.

The B.C. Hydro Investigation Compliance Report states three corrective actions are to be implemented as a result of Beday’s death.

Hydro will develop, communicate and implement an interim work procedure for working on or in the proximity of CT secondary circuitry in protection and control panels;

They will develop, field test, finalize, communicate and implement a permanent work procedure for working on or in the proximity of CT secondary circuitry in protection and control panels, and;

A safety task force has been formed to gain understanding as to why such incidents continue to happen, and to develop recommendations for implementation by the company.


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