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Worker electrocuted in South Carolina, October 21, 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 87-18, 1986 Dec; :1-5
While steam cleaning a rubber mill, a worker suffered electrocution. The on/off switch on the mill was not watertight and steam entered the switch, condensed, forming water, and short circuited the switch, energizing the outer surface of the switch and the rubber mill. The victim was standing in water, holding the wand of the steam cleaner in one hand. The wand was used to direct the flow of steam in the cleaning process. The wand contacted the electrically energized rubber mill, electrocuting the worker. The on/off switch on the mill was turned off during this procedure, but power to the on/off switch was not deenergized at the breaker panel. The victim was wearing neither insulated gloves nor boots when the accident occurred. Recommendations arising from this accident included making certain that employees have been instructed on the operation and safe work practices for all machinery and equipment they are to operate, developing a procedure to be certain that the rubber mill will be locked out and tagged out at the breaker panel before steam cleaning, modifying all mill equipment to allow use in damp or wet locations, making the hand held wand on the steam cleaner of nonconductive or insulated materials, and developing specific safe procedures for steam cleaning operations.
NIOSH-Author; Region-5; FACE-87-18; Maintenance-workers; Factory-workers; Milling-industry; Accident-analysis; Safety-practices
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