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Roofer in Boom Lift Electrocuted by Overhead Electrical Line—Kentucky

Kentucky Case Report: 23KY005
Release Date: December 12, 2023

The following report is the product of our Cooperative State partner and is presented here in its original unedited form from the state. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the individual Cooperative State partner and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


Two roofers were using a telescoping boom lift to descend from a roof when they contacted overhead electrical lines. The head of the lift operator, a 27-year-old roofing worker, contacted one of the electrical lines and was fatally electrocuted. The other roofer in the lift, a 21-year-old male, suffered 2nd degree electrical burns to his left elbow, wrist, and hand.

Key contributing factors identified in this investigation include:

  • Overhead electrical hazards in work area
  • Windy conditions
  • Exposure to energized lines
  • Lack of appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Need for electrical hazards training

Kentucky FACE investigators concluded that, to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should:

  • Implement a job hazard analysis) process to determine appropriate measures to safeguard employees from the hazards associated with overhead electrical lines. Follow applicable OSHA regulations and use safe work practices to ensure that employees and equipment are located at a safe distance from overhead power lines.

Roofer in Boom Lift Electrocuted by Overhead Electrical Line—Kentucky [PDF – 2 MB]