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Two well drillers electrocuted when their truck-mounted boom contacts overhead power lines in California.

NIOSH 1996 Oct; :1-4
A 25-year-old male well driller, the foreman (victim #1), and a 47-year-old male well driller, the foreman's assistant (victim #2), were electrocuted when their truck-mounted boom made contact with an overhead power line. The line was carrying 6900 volts in one phase of a 12,000 volt (12 Kv) three phase distribution system. It is believed that victim #1 was operating the controls of the boom and that victim #2 was near the truck retrieving tools from a side-mounted toolbox at the time of the incident. Their job had been to use a truck-mounted boom to pull a water well pump from the bottom of a well (approximately 400 feet deep) so that it could be inspected. The water well company had been hired by a financial service company to do the job. The employer stated that his company had done prior work at this location, and that both victims had performed this type of work on numerous occasions. The victims were discovered when neighbors noticed a brush fire and called the fire department. Fire department paramedics arrived first on the scene and were unable to detect any vital signs (pulse or spontaneous respirations) in either victim. The CA/FACE investigator concluded that in order to prevent future similar occurrences employers should: 1. perform a hazard evaluation at each work site before any work is initiated. 2. always contact the local power company when working in close proximity to energized high voltage power lines. 3. train employees in the recognition of hazards, and methods to control such hazards. assure the "10-foot" rule is observed when working in close proximity to energized high voltage power lines.
Region-9; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Protective-equipment; Electric-properties; Electrical-charge; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-properties; Electrical-safety; Electrical-transmission; Electricity; Electrocutions
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-96CA006; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-907284
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Public Health Institute