PG&E worker pronounced dead after electrocution in underground vault

Legal news for California employment attorneys. A worker was shocked to death while working in an underground vault.

CalOSHA is investigating a workplace accident where Max Martinez suffered a fatal electrocution.

San Francisco Bay, CA– A Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) utility worker who was working in an underground vault was tragically killed on Wednesday, March 17, 2010. The fatal workplace accident occurred around 9:53 a.m., in an underground vault at Panorama Court and Panorama Drive, in a Benicia neighborhood, as reported by KTVU.

A male construction worker identified as Max Martinez, who was a five-year PG&E employee, was reportedly electrocuted in a underground vault, which contains 12,000-volt power lines. Benicia fire officials rushed to the scene, where Martinez couldn’t be revived. Medical professionals pronounced him dead at the scene of the accident. The Solano County Coroner’s Office was called to remove Martinez from the scene. Police officials are still trying to determine what caused the fatal electrocution. Martinez reportedly was a general construction lineman, and was on a crew with three other men. PG&E and California’s division of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (CalOSHA) investigators are currently looking into the fatal investigation.

A PG&E spokesperson stated “Our underground vaults are basically an alternative to overhead lines…So they deliver the same electricity and serve the same purpose that our overhead lines serve. They just do so underground.”

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for employment lawyers in California.