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Construction laborer electrocuted after accessing primary side of transformer box.

NIOSH 1994 Apr; :1-6
A 27-year-old male construction laborer (victim) was electrocuted when he made direct contact with an 8000-volt conductor inside a transformer box. He was not using any personal protective equipment at the time of the incident. He and a coworker were laying plastic conduit for underground cables beneath and up to the bottom of the box. An employee from the local electrical utility company had unlocked the box's outer metal cover earlier so the construction workers could open it and visually monitor conduit positioning by way of its uncovered, secondary, 240-volt, side. Its primary, 8000-volt, side was double covered with an unlocked red fiberglass hood. After unlocking the box, the utility company employee left the site and instructed the workers not to access the primary side of the box. As the victim and coworker attempted to place the 90-degree elbow piece beneath the box's primary side, it entered the box and got hung-up on a ground wire. The victim opened the fiberglass hood covering the primary side and reached inside to move the wire or conduit. As he withdrew his hand, he made direct contact with the 8000-volt conductor inside the transformer box, completed a path to ground, and was electrocuted. MN FACE investigators concluded that, in order to prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. ensure that energized components inside transformer boxes are inaccessible to unqualified employees; and 2. provide employees with adequate training to ensure that they can recognize potential hazardous exposures.
Region-5; 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; Construction-workers; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Electric-properties; Electrical-conductivity; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-safety; 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-93MN079; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-507283
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Minnesota Department of Health