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Lathe operator electrocuted in North Carolina, February 6, 1987.
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 87-29, 1987 Apr; :1-6
A lathe operator was electrocuted when he contacted the energized frame of a computerized lathe, February 6, 1987. The employer was a division of a major corporation manufacturing turbo chargers for diesel engines. A written safety program and policy were in existence at the time. Three grounding errors had been made during the installation of a new transformer, three phase circuit, and new lathe and mill machines which resulted in interruption of the continuous ground for the lathe and for any of the other electrical equipment connected to this circuit. The equipment was used for a time with no evidence of any problems. Some time later a capacitor in the ungrounded lathe failed, energizing the frame with 220 volts of electricity. On the date of the accident the victim apparently made contact with the grounded metal air supply line while his other hand was in contact with the energized lathe frame. He was pronounced dead due to cardiac arrest caused by electrocution. Recommendations included being certain that electrical systems and equipment with electrical connections have a permanent and continuous path to ground, that state or local agencies implement and enforce an electrical inspection program, that a reevaluation of the lathe and other machinery be made to identify electrical safety design modifications, and the clear identification of the means of electrically disconnecting each piece of equipment be provided.
NIOSH-Author; Region-4; FACE-87-29; Electrical-systems; Electrical-workers; Electrical-shock; Safety-practices; Machinists; Accident-analysis
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