Landscaper Working from a Raised Portable Work Platform Was Electrocuted When a Pole Saw Contacts Overhead Power Line - Massachusetts
Massachusetts Case Report: 13MA019
Release Date: January 12, 2015
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.
On August 20, 2013, a 26-year-old male landscaper/foreman (victim) employed by a landscaping company was electrocuted while trimming tree branches from a portable work platform. The victim had been using a pole saw to trim the branches. At some point the top section of the pole saw came in contact with energized overhead power lines and the victim was electrocuted and then his clothes ignited. There were two co-workers on site at the time of the incident. They both heard a popping noise and noticed that the victim was being electrocuted. They went to the work platform and could feel the electric current so they got the work truck and used it to push the work platform away from the overhead power lines. At the same time, two different home owners placed calls for emergency medical services (EMS). EMS, the fire department and the local police arrived at the incident location within minutes. The work platform was lowered and the victim was transported to a med-flight helicopter and brought to a large regional trauma center where he died of his injuries later that day.