Settlement reached in death of electrocuted Santa Fe worker
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The city of Santa Fe and the New Mexico Environment Department have reached a settlement involving a city employee who was fatally electrocuted in April 2019.
The agreement came about a year after Tobin Williams was electrocuted while attempting to replace a light fixture at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, the Albuquerque Journal reported Wednesday. He had no training as an electrician.
The city would pay $120,000, with more than half dedicated to training and safety improvements that must be completed within six months, according to the settlement's terms.
“When accidents like these happen, it is critical that employers take action to protect worker safety in the future,” department spokesperson Maddy Hayden said. “The measures included in the settlement are intended to do that.”
The state Occupational Health and Safety Bureau found in September 2019 that the city had committed multiple violations by using untrained workers replace electrical equipment, the settlement said.
“I think it’s fair to say the city’s getting off easy, considering the consequences to the Williams family,” lawyer Lee Hunt said.
No lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the family.
City spokeswoman Lilia Chacon said she could not comment until the settlement is official, which would happen 20 days after it is scheduled to be signed on April 1.