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Power company worker electrocuted in underground utility vault in Georgia, March 11, 1988.

Authors
NIOSH
Source
NIOSH 1988 Sep; :1-7
NIOSHTIC No.
00186182
Abstract
The case of a 35 year old male cable splicer who was electrocuted when he contacted an energized pipe that was connected to a 220 volt sump pump was examined. The victim was a lead cable splicer employed by a power company with about 14,000 employees. The company had a safety and health department, an industrial hygiene department, a written safety policy, and specific written procedures for electrical work and confined space entry. The site of the incident was an underground transformer vault located in the downtown area of a large city. The vault housed eight 480 volt transformers. Two 220 volt sump pumps were originally installed to remove water that accumulates in the vault; an effective electrical ground was not provided. About 5 years before the current incident an electrical short circuit developed inside one of the pump motors, blowing the fuses and deenergizing the pumps. The company did not repair the pumps, but periodically pumped water from the vault with truck mounted pumps. The fuse box, pumps, wiring, and piping were not removed. Two power company employees were sent to inspect the circuit protectors on the transformers in the vault. The victim apparently contacted an energized component of the sump pump with his right hand and the steel ladder with his left. It is noted that the sump pumps and pump wiring no longer in use should have been removed and disconnected. The company should reassess its decision not to keep the sump pumps operable. Employers should ensure that each metal piece of equipment that is not designed to conduct electricity be permanently and continuously bonded to a grounding system.
Keywords
NIOSH-Author; FACE-88-16; Region-4; Accident-analysis; Work-practices; Safety-research; Electrical-shock; Electrical-workers; Electrical-hazards; Confined-spaces
Publication Date
19880919
Document Type
Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation; Field Studies
Fiscal Year
1988
NTIS Accession No.
PB89-188312
NTIS Price
A02
Identifying No.
FACE-88-16
NIOSH Division
DSR
SIC Code
NAICS-22
Source Name
Division of Safety Research, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Morgantown, West Virginia, Report No. FACE-88-16, 7 pages
State
GA; WV
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