IBEW Local 257 urges safety in wake of recent electrocutions at Lake of the Ozarks

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Property owners encouraged to have their dock hook-ups installed and inspected by a union contractor

Lake of the Ozarks – Responding to the recent electrocution deaths at Lake of the Ozarks, IBEW Local 257 in Jefferson City is reaching out to the community with a commercial encouraging property owners to have their dock electrical hook-ups installed and inspected by union contractors.

The commercial, which began airing this week, includes a link (http://www.connectmidmissouri.com/community/content.aspx?id=779491#.ua2pnbryuso) to a list of union contractors serving the Lake of the Ozarks area.

Don Bruemmer, business manager for Local 257, said the commercial, paid for by the IBEW Local 257 Local Labor Management Cooperative Committee (LMCC), will air through September, or the end of the boating season.

“IBEW Local 257 wants everybody to be safe,” Bruemmer said. “This commercial is about qualified electricians in the IBEW who work for licensed, certified contractors that will stand behind their installation. It’s something that our local union and contractors wanted to do.”

IBEW Local 257 covers central Missouri including Moberly, Columbia, the University of Missouri, the Calloway nuclear plant, Jefferson City, the Lake of the Ozarks, the AmerenUE dam, Rolla and Salem.

A TRIPLE TRAGEDY

The deaths occurred just days apart.

Two children from Ashland, MO were electrocuted while swimming at Gravois Arm of the lake on the Fourth of July.  Authorities identified the children as 13-year-old Alexandra Anderson and her 8-year-old brother Brayden.

Just three days later, Jennifer L. Lankford, 26, of Hazelwood was killed when she touched a dock that apparently had faulty wiring at Dry Branch Cove in Morgan County.

The Missouri Highway Patrol, which investigated the deaths, encourages dock owners to recheck the wiring on their docks every year to make sure the wiring is installed correctly and that the ground fault interrupter (GFI) is working properly.

“We request that they have a licensed electrician or someone that really knows electricity double check the wiring on the docks to ensure everyone’s safety,” Sgt. Paul Reinsch of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.

“We just want to make sure that all the docks are safe,” Reinsch said. “Whatever they have to do to make sure they’re safe, that’s what we would recommend.”

 

Reinsch said anyone who feels electricity while in the water should swim to another dock.

REACHING OUT

Following the deaths, Bruemmer reached out to AmerenUE and local fire departments offering to help set up licensing or safety codes in the lake area.

“I told them I was willing to help the communities and the lake area set up a licensing law and to address electrical installations. My contractors are willing to install the electrical installations correctly right now,” Bruemmer said.

The challenge, he said, is that multiple jurisdictions make up the lake area, making for a lack of uniform regulations governing docks.

Ameren issues dock permits to new dock owners and worked with fire districts to tighten regulations for new docks in 2006, Jeff Green, Ameren's shoreline supervisor at the lake told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but not all fire districts do inspections. Only about half of the docks along the main channel of the Lake of the Ozarks are in fire districts that require inspections.

“Nobody has to be licensed,” Bruemmer said. “Ameren finally put out a printout of how they wanted them wired from 2006 on. From 2006 prior the electrical installations were a free for all with no inspections and no enforcement.”

‘THIS IS ABOUT SAFETY'

The commercial is a way to reach out to property owners directly, with a simple message – there is a difference between someone who installs wiring and a trained union electrician who installs it correctly. The difference comes down to safety.

“This is about safety,” Bruemmer said. “We care about the people at the lake and communities that we have geographical jurisdiction over.

“Every one of our journeymen goes through 1,000 hours in-school training over a five year period, and 8,000 hours on the job training over that same period. That’s what it takes for our apprentices to become journeymen. And our journeymen go through updated code changes and any other electrical installations that have been revised constantly throughout their careers.”

 

 

Licensed union electrical contractors serving the Lake of the Ozarks area:

 

Advanced Electrical Systems

Bill Urban

P.O. Box 644

Salem, MO 65560

Phone: 573-729-2595

 

B&B Electric, LLC

Tim Backus

10272 Maries Road 333

Vienna, MO 65582

Phone: 573-694-3124

 

 

Coastal Electric

Dennis Palmer

P.O. Box 7629

Columbia, MO 65205

Phone: 573-875-2200

 

Inline Electric

Dennis Strickland

P.O. Box 104597

Jefferson City, MO 65101

Phone: 573-659-4344

 

Jeffries Electrical Services

Darryl Jeffries

5452 County Road 480

Tebbets, MO 65080

Phone: 573-676-5100

 

Kaiser Electric

Jason Russell

1517 Copper Road

Holt's Summit, MO 65043

Phone: 573-462-0206

 

Meyer Electric

Paul Meyer

P.O. Box 1013

Jefferson City, MO 65102

Phone: 573-893-2335

 

NEMO Electric

Bob Long

1500 Highway DD

Moberly, MO 65270

Phone: 660-263-3777

 

RA Howerton Electrical Contracting

Doug Howerton

720 Heisinger Road

Jefferson City, MO 65109

Phone: 573-573-636-5046

 

Rehagen Electrical Contracting

Jonette Rehagen

5815 State Route B

Jefferson City, MO 65101

Phone: 573-893-3155

 

Sapp Construction, Inc.

Dennis Sapp

402B Morgan Drive

Ashland, MO  65010

Phone: 573-489-3991

 

Schneider Electric

Jim Loehner

414 W. Dunklin

Jefferson City, MO 65109

Phone: 573-636-4101

 

Stokes Electric

Carl Stokes

226 Madison

Jefferson City, MO 65101

Phone: 573-636-2167

 

Triple E Electric

Larry Pierce

700 W. Worstell

Columbia, MO 65202

Phone: 573-815-9579


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