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OSHA investigates contractor worker’s death near Tonopah

The Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death of a contractor worker outside of Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in Tonopah.

The victim was identified by officials as Brandon Carpowich of Henderson.

“Death was from an electrical accident that occurred while the employee was working on a personal project, unrelated to the solar facility,” said Mary Grikas, a spokeswoman for SolarReserve.

The Nye County Sheriff’s Office initial investigation showed that it was an accidental death in the workplace, however the cause of the death will be determined by the Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office.

Terri Williams, public information officer at state of Nevada Department of Business and Industry, said Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration was notified of the fatality that occurred on June 16 and sent a certified safety and health official to investigate.

No additional details were available about an investigation as of Tuesday. “We do not provide updates until the investigation is closed and the employer has been notified of the findings,” Williams said. “That could take weeks or months.”

SolarReserve, the parent company of the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, said on June 16, an employee of Brahma Group was found deceased in a workshop area near the Brahma construction trailers, which are at the site boundary, outside of the Crescent Dunes facility area.

Brahma Group is a Salt Lake City-based mechanical industrial company with projects around the country, according to its website. “During the past 10 days, we have been entirely focused on helping Brandon Carpowich’s family and have not been able to issue a formal statement as planned,” David Zimmerman, a company vice president.

Grikas said Brahma Group is a subcontractor on the solar project that has been performing mechanical and electrical work. “While this was not a plant operational or construction issue, it is tragic nonetheless and our sincere condolences and prayers are with the deceased individual’s family. Brahma and the project owner, Tonopah Solar Energy LLC, commenced a full investigation surrounding the incident,” Grikas said.

The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project is a 110-megawatt solar thermal plant about 190 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dsokolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

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