Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Public safety

Two workers seriously injured while installing light poles near Weeki Wachee

WEEKI WACHEE — Four workers installing a light pole near U.S. 19 and State Road 50 were injured Thursday morning when one of the poles came into contact with power lines, authorities say.

The four workers, with United Signs & Signals of Tavares, were on the ground guiding the pole into place and a fifth was operating a boom truck just after 11 a.m. when a strap broke and the pole fell onto a power line, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said. The pole and power line fell to the ground, and the four men on the ground received electric shocks.

The workers were conscious and breathing when first responders arrived. Two were seriously injured and taken to the trauma center at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, and two were taken to Oak Hill Hospital in Spring Hill with minor injuries. A fifth refused medical treatment at the scene.

The injured workers were not identified, and their conditions were not available.

The company was hired by the Florida Department of Transportation for the project to widen State Road 50 between the Suncoast Parkway and U.S. 19, said department spokeswoman Kris Carson.

A United employee who answered the phone Thursday afternoon said the company had no comment.

Les Grove, Tampa area director for the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, declined to comment specifically on the incident, but said employers are required to notify his agency about an accident if an employee dies or if three or more employees require overnight hospitalization.

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