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National guardsman electrocuted in West Virginia, August 2, 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 86-49, 1987 Feb; :1-4
A National Guardsman was electrocuted when he climbed a tower supporting 46,000 volt transmission lines and contacted a jumper wire. The Guard had been requested to demolish the tower by a regional power company. When National Guard demolition experts and a power company representative visited the site, the demolition experts were warned that the power lines were energized, and that a power company representative should be present when Guard personnel visited the site. It was decided that the demolition work would be completed by the Guard and electrical work would be completed by the power company. The demolition experts briefed the detachment assigned the demolition task. The detachment commander and three detachment members visited the tower without official permission and without notifying the power company. The commander climbed the tower, contacted a jumper wire on a 46,000 volt power line, received a shock and fell to the ground; he subsequently died. Members of the detachment stated that they believed the power lines on the tower were deenergized. No warning signs were posted. Recommendations arising from this accident include making workers aware of all hazards at a work site prior to starting any work, adhering strictly to outlined safe work procedures, equipping climbable towers supporting energized lines with barriers, and posting these locations with appropriate warning signs.
NIOSH-Author; Region-3; FACE-86-49; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-shock; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Accident-analysis; Safety-practices; Military-personnel
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division