Progress Energy fined for Wilmington worker's death
Posted September 15, 2011
Wilmington, N.C. — State regulators have fined Progress Energy $31,500 after finding nine serious workplace safety violations at the L.V. Sutton Steam Electric Plant in Wilmington, where a worker was killed in March.
Cory Rogers, 24, was doing maintenance on one of the plant's three coal-fired steam units when an explosion occurred. The unit had been offline for repairs.
Inspectors with the state Department of Labor said Progress Energy was using equipment that could spark a fire or explosion from flammable gases or dust. The company's workers also didn't properly purge hydrogen gas from the area before working on the steam unit, according to the citation.
Each of the nine violations carries a $3,500 penalty, which is half of the maximum allowed under state law.
Progress Energy has 15 business days to appeal the fine or request a meeting with state regulators to negotiate a settlement.
The Sutton plant, located off U.S. Highway 412 north of Wilmington, is one of four coal-fired power plants slated by Progress for retirement over the next few years as the utility converts to cheaper, cleaner gas power.