NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
56 Year-old pipe layer electrocuted in North Carolina, April 23, 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 87-41, 1987 Jun; :1-4
A pipe layer was guiding a load attached to the bucket of a backhoe when the backhoe contacted a 13,200 kilovolt overhead powerline. The job that day required installation of a water drain pipe, one phase of which was the installation of a section of drain pipe under an asphalt road. A pit had been dug to within 10 feet of the roadway berm. Steel track sections were being positioned on the floor of the pit for the boring machine. The steel track section was 10 feet long. A crawler type backhoe was used to move the track into the pit. This backhoe had a boom capable of reaching vertically about 28 feet. A 13,200 volt overhead powerline was about 25 feet 8 inches from the ground. As the backhoe operator lifted and swung the boom in the direction of the pit, the upper arm of the boom contacted the overhead powerline. The victim was guiding the load at the time and was electrocuted. The company he worked for had a comprehensive safety program and a full time safety manager. Recommendations arising from this accident include the enforcement of existing regulations concerning equipment operating in the vicinity of overhead powerlines, training of employees in hazard recognition, using nonconductive tag lines to aid in guiding and stabilizing the load, using additional personnel to observe clearances when equipment is operated near powerlines, and training employees and or employers in the use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
NIOSH-Author; Region-4; FACE-87-41; Construction-workers; Construction-industry; Electrical-hazards; Safety-practices; Electric-power-transmission-lines; 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