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Worker electrocuted at power substation in Howesville, 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 85-01, 1984 Oct; :1-6
A case study of a worker electrocuted at an electric substation tower was examined. Two brothers were contracted to demolish an abandoned electric substation tower. The substation was secured by a perimeter security fence and locked entrance gate. The brother of the victim had requested the utility company to deenergize the overhead power lines when the tower was ready to be dropped to the ground and they had agreed to do so. The brother had warned the victim that the power lines were still energized. The towers were composed of columns, beams, and joists that were bolted together at the connecting joints and also bolted at each foundation base. The towers were approximately 40 feet in height and were located directly beneath three 69 kiloVolt (kV) distribution lines. On the day of the accident, the brothers were in the process of removing the connection bolts from the joints in two of the columns; each brother was working on a separate column. The victim had climbed from the column onto the top tower beam, raised up into a standing position, and came in contact with a live 69kV distribution line. The victim was pronounced dead from electrocution at a nearby hospital. Factors contributing to the occurrence of the fatal accident included the location of the steel tower in relation to overhead electrical power lines, distribution lines that were not disconnected or isolated from the energy production source nor insulated or guarded, and insufficient height and hazard perception on the part of the victim.
NIOSH-Author; Electrical-industry; Case-studies; Electrical-workers; Region-3; Physiological-measurements; Safety-engineering; Workplace-studies; Safety-measures; Body; Physiology; FACE-85-01
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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