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Two laborers electrocuted in Tennessee.
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 86-39, 1986 Aug; :1-6
Two laborers caulking and painting around elevated church windows were electrocuted after the 25 foot scaffold they were moving contacted a high voltage line. The scaffolding consisted of five joined 5 foot sections on rubber casters. The power lines in one section were about 30 feet off the ground, but they dropped to about 25 feet at one point. The scaffold contacted one phase of the 12,000 volt line, completing a path to ground through the two men. The ground fault relay of the power company, set at 1750 amps, did not open the circuit breaker. This probably occurred because the casters were made of rubber and the current through the two victims did not exceed 1750 amps. The line was not deenergized for about 12 minutes. This prolonged contact caused extensive thermal burns and no resuscitation was possible when they were finally removed from contact. Recommendations arising from this accident include: design of a specific plan of action which will ensure safety should be incorporated into job planning when there is a potential risk for contacting electrical energy; and the posting of an observer without other duties to watch when it is necessary to move a scaffold in the vicinity of electrical lines.
NIOSH-Author; Region-4; FACE-86-39; Painters; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-shock; Safety-practices; Electric-power-transmission-lines; 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