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20-Year old electrocuted when backhoe breaks 7200 volt power line at construction site in Kentucky.
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 85-32, 1985 Jul; :1-5
A fatal accident circumstances and epidemiology (FACE) report on an electrocution in Kentucky was presented. The report was part of the NIOSH FACE project to collect data on accidents involving electricity or confined space/related fatalities. On July 9, 1985, the owner of a construction company was driving a crawler backhoe through a partially developed residential subdivision. The raised boom of the backhoe struck the bottom three lines of a four wire utility line, breaking a 40 foot utility pole approximately 70 feet from the point of contact. The top line, a 7,200 Volt single phase primary distribution line, fell to the ground after striking the rear of the backhoe. A 20 year old construction worker approaching the backhoe from behind was electrocuted when the 7,200 Volt line fell a few feet away from him. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The construction company had no written safety procedures. All safety training was on the job. The author recommends training employees to recognize hazards associated with operating equipment around power lines, using a signal worker to assist in performing tasks that may over extend the capabilities of an operator, and constantly evaluating construction sites for hazardous conditions.
NIOSH-Author; Construction-industry; Region-4; Accident-statistics; Safety-research; Hazards; Electrical-shock; Health-hazards; Epidemiology; Protective-measures; FACE-85-32; Construction-Search
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
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