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Firefighter electrocuted while rappelling down building in West Virginia.

Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 85-22, 1985 Jun; :1-4
A case study of a firefighter electrocuted while rappelling down a building was examined. On the evening of the accident, four volunteer firefighters removed the station house rooftop siren for repairs. The firefighter ascended to the top of the 35 foot high fire station by climbing a radio transmission tower located at the rear of the building. After reaching the rooftop, the siren was removed from its support structure and lowered to the ground by a rope. Three of the firefighters decided to rappel down the front of the building following completion of work on the roof. The fourth firefighter, who was inexperienced in rappelling, was to descend by the rear tower, which was used to ascend to the rooftop. The first firefighter secured his rope and leaned out over the rooftop to test the rope before starting his rappel. The firefighter's back contacted a 7,200 Volt power line; his feet remained on the roof of the fire station. A second firefighter grabbed the rope, attempting to pull the victim loose, when the victim fell to the ground. A nearby emergency medical team was called and transported the victim to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The authors recommend that firefighters should be trained in recognition and appreciation of hazards and preventative measures for personal safety.
NIOSH-Author; Fire-fighting; Analytical-models; Industrial-environment; Accident-potential; Industrial-exposures; Safety-equipment; Accident-prevention; Workplace-studies; Accident-analysis; Safety-monitoring; Region-3; FACE-85-22
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Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division