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19 Year-old electrician's apprentice electrocuted in Georgia, March 17, 1986.
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 87-34, 1987 Mar; :1-4
While disassembling an energized switch box in an office building on March 17, 1986, a 19 year old apprentice electrician contacted live conductors and was electrocuted. The apprentice had been with this company for 1 month, and had worked for 3 years prior to this time with a certified electrician. At the time of the accident the apprentice electrician was accompanied on the job by a journeyman electrician, who had left the room just prior to the accident stating that they would do the wiring when he returned. The box in question was energized by a 277 volt circuit from the adjacent room. While a metal sheathed cable provided electricity to this box, this cable was outside the conduit and entered through the side of the box. The victim successfully cut the conductors from each of the four terminal connections in the box using wire cutters and no evidence of arcing or sparking could be found. The victim was electrocuted when, while pulling the metal sheathed conductor out of the box with his left hand and holding the box with his right hand, the bare conductors contacted the box or his left hand. He was found 14 feet away from the switch box. Death was caused by cardiorespiratory arrest due to electrocution. In light of this accident it was recommended that deenergization of electrical circuits be verified personally, that electric circuits be properly labeled at the distribution panel and any disconnected circuits be locked out or tagged out; and that hazard awareness be stressed at safety meetings.
NIOSH-Author; Region-4; FACE-87-34; Electrical-systems; Electrical-workers; Electrical-shock; Safety-practices; Maintenance-workers; Accident-analysis; 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