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Landscaper electrocuted and two workers seriously injured when a felled tree landed on an overhead power line.

New Jersey Department of Health
NIOSH 2002 Oct; :1-14
On October 18, 2001, a 21-year-old landscaper was electrocuted when a felled tree landed on an overhead power line and caused the power line to drop. A landscaping company had subcontracted to take down 110 trees and clear the area for a parking lot. The company hired two experienced tree trimmers to assist with tree removal. When they felled a 65-foot oak tree, one of the branches caught onto the 69,000 volt power line that was 29 feet above the ground. The porcelain insulators on the adjacent supporting utility poles broke and the power line dropped to within a few feet from the ground. The company owner’s 21-year-old son was electrocuted and two workers (including the company owner) were seriously injured by the electric current. NJ FACE investigators concluded that, to prevent similar incidents, these safety guidelines should be followed: 1. A knowledgeable person should assess each work site for safety hazards and design a work plan that addresses those hazards. 2. The employer should conduct a job briefing, based on the work plan, before starting work. 3. The employer should establish a written safety and health policy. 4. Safe tree removal techniques should be used. 5. Employers should notify the utility company when work is planned in an area near overhead power lines. 6. Employers and employees should become familiar with available resources on safety standards and safe work practices.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-2; Work-practices; Electric-properties; Electrical-conductivity; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-safety; Electricity; Electrocutions; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-environment; Work-performance; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Forestry-workers
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-01NJ117; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-207088; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008345
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
New Jersey Department of Health