Upper Arlington News

OSHA investigating

Man electrocuted at work site on West Lane Avenue


An electrical worker was killed this week in an accident on the site of a West Lane Avenue mixed-use development.

Upper Arlington police officials said Clifford Smith, 55, of Bellville died Monday morning, Oct. 21, while working at 1600 W. Lane Ave.

Officer Heather Galli said Smith was an employee of Romanoff Electric, which is performing electrical work related to the redevelopment of the former site of Lane Avenue Baptist Church.

Although they wouldn't confirm Smith's name, Occupational Health and Safety Administration officials said the man died from electrocution.

"The employee was trying to pull a cable through a conduit inside a 480-volt switch carriage," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA area director for a 28-county region in southeastern Ohio. "He was electrocuted. That's what was called into us."

Zubaty said OSHA had no more information about the incident, pending the result of further investigation.

Galli said the accident occurred around 10:30 a.m. Monday.

She said Smith was transported to Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center, where he died.

"My understanding is (Smith) was working in a utility room," Galli said. "We will be working with the Franklin County Coroner's Office and OSHA to determine the cause of death."

Last August, a 119-room Hilton Homewood Suites developed by Lane Avenue Redevelopment was opened just east of the work site where Smith was killed.

The company also is developing 108 "luxury apartments," 26,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and office space and a parking garage on the site where Smith was working.

Upper Arlington Fire Division Public Information Officer Dan Kochensparger said other workers at the site reported hearing a loud noise around 10 a.m.

"That's when they found him in contact with the large electrical panel that was in there and it appeared he was shocked," Kochensparger said.