Generator Circuit Breaker Explosion at Priest Rapids Dam

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Type:  Report - Gov

Publisher:  Grant Public Utility District, Grant County, WA

Published As:  Public


Topics:  Electrical, Operations, Maintenance, Management Systems, Training and Qualification, Work Management/Planning

Six employees were injured from an explosion while performing emergent troubleshooting activities on a Priest Rapids generator circuit breaker. The event resulted in six lost time injuries due to severe burns that requied hospitalization for all six of the employees. Equipment damage included the generator and generator circuit breaker, resulting in repairs with an estimated cost of over two million dollars.

Why did this happen? Many shortcuts were taken including: no job brief, minimal communication among team members, assumptions on energy isolation and standby clearance, and a lack of onsite control of work activities which all stem from an inadequate enforcement of expectations by management.

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