Contractor is Electrocuted at Tesla Supercharging Center at JANAF in Norfolk
I was alarmed to read a report on the TV news today that Norfolk Police are investigating how a worker was electrocuted at a shopping center in the city.
Norfolk police said crews were called to the JANAF Shopping Center located in the 5900 block of East Virginia Beach Boulevard, around 10:30 a.m. on August 18.
A witness said contractors had been working at the Tesla Supercharging center which is located at the shopping center.
WAVY.com reported that when n crews arrived on scene, they found a man who was pronounced dead. Virginia Dominion Power said, the man was a subcontractor who was not associated with Dominion Virginia Power.
The station also reported the incident is being classified as an undetermined death. Norfolk police said the office of the chief medical examiner will determine the exact cause of death.
News Channel 3 reported the investigation centers around a Tesla-owned electric vehicle supercharger station which is in the parking lot. The grand opening for the supercharger station was scheduled for Wednesday.
Tesla said in a statement the accident involved an electrical contractor and occurred during the installation process.
A portion of the JANAF parking lot was closed at this time while the investigation takes place.
Depending on the nature of the accident, this incident could raise some serious questions over the safety of charging stations for electrical vehicles.
Superchargers are free connectors that the manufacturers say charge vehicles in minutes instead of hours. “Stations are strategically placed to minimize stops during long distance travel and are conveniently located near restaurants, shopping centers, and WiFi hot spots. Each station contains multiple Superchargers to help you get back on the road quickly,” states Tesla on its website.
Recently the Virginian-Pilot reported the maker of electric cars had submitted a site document with detailed drawings about the location of the station at Janaf Shopping Yard, near the Interstate 64/264 interchange in Norfolk.
According to the company, a supercharger can add 170 miles of range to a Tesla Model S in a mere 30 minutes. It also can fully charge a depleted car in less than an hour. The station can charge up six cars at a time.
Tesla is building a network of recharging stations across the country. Car owners can use the stations at no cost.
My thoughts are with the family of this contractor. It’s not yet clear how he came to be electrocuted but there may be grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit in this case against a manufacturer or an employer. Contractors face the constant threat of electric shocks in their daily work. If you have lost a loved one in an industrial accident, call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077