Modesto Overhauls Safety Rules after Worker was Electrocuted

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MODESTO -- A major overhaul is underway within the city of Modesto after one of its employees was killed on the job in April.

A city spokesman says three workers are on leave -- two face possible termination -- and crews will undergo more training.

Tyrone Darnell Hairston’s father, Tyrone Alfonso Hairston, says the changes are consequences that needed to happen.

Two redacted reports obtained by FOX40 outline what investigators call lack of training, procedure and safety within the city of Modesto’s electrical division.

“It’s exactly what my son had mentioned to us,” Hairston said.

Tyrone Darnell, who was an electrician’s assistant, was with two other men on Floyd and Roselle avenues attempting to replace a light pole.

He was electrocuted.

“It was a lack of training. It seemed like the guys were able to do their jobs any way they wanted,” Hairston said.

OSHA fined the city with a $39,000 penalty. Hairston says his son’s death should never have happened.

“Those reports showed is that it’s a culture of unsafe work practices. So now they have to correct that,” Hairston said.

City spokesman Thomas Reeves says the city has learned from its mistakes and, as a result, safer policies such as wear the proper safety equipment -- Tyrone Darnell had been wearing cloth gloves -- provide better training for all employees and to contact electrical companies before any work is done.

“We took swift action to set up an investigation team that reviewed the details of the situation,” Reeves said. “We’ve hired a full-time safety officer whose sole purpose is to ensure that the policies are being followed.”

Hairston says hopefully no other family will go through such heartache.

“I just have to get my family and help them move on and live their lives the way that he would want them to live it,” Hairston said.

Meanwhile, OSHA is continuing its investigation.

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