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A 29-year-old furnace technician (the victim) dies trying to put out a trailer fire.

NIOSH 1997 Feb; :1-3
On January 22, 1997, at approximately 10:30 a.m. a truck driver and spotter were trying to unload a trailer of cullet used in the manufacture of fiberglass insulation for private residences. The hydraulic system on the tractor that brought in the load of cullett did not work. Another tractor was brought in and was hooked up to the trailer load of cullet. Evidence indicates the trailer was parked under three energized power lines with the combined energy of 13,800 volts next to an electrical sub-station. The trailer, measuring 34 feet 8 inches long, was in the elevated position to dump the load of cullet and became entangled in the three power lines that were 27 feet above the ground. There was no over current protection for the three power lines. Upon contact with the power lines, the electrical energy melted the hydraulic box on the front of the trailer. The spotter at the rear of the truck got out of the way and the truck driver jumped free but still received an electrical shock. The ground was wet and a fire was started at the left rear duals. The victim was in his office at the time of the incident. He grabbed an ABC fire extinguisher and ran outside and attempted to put the fire out. Evidence indicates at this time there was an electrical energy surge that electrocuted the victim. The company's emergency response team called 911 for the fire and police departments that arrived in a few minutes. The power and light company was notified of the incident and it took several minutes before the lines could be de-energized. The FACE investigator concluded that in order to prevent similar incidents employers should: 1. Ensure that barricades and barriers are installed to prevent accidental contact with energized lines or equipment. 2. Ensure that use of vehicles and other equipment in restricted or hazardous areas shall be controlled at all times by designated employees. 3. Provide an educational program to familiarize employees with the general principles of fire extinguisher use.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Electrical-charge; Electrical-fields; Electrical-safety; Electricity; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Electrocutions
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-97IN117; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-508672
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Indiana State Department of Health