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Apprentice sheetmetal worker electrocuted in Tennessee, September 10, 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 87-04, 1986 Nov; :1-5
A sheetmetal apprentice was electrocuted while guiding a powered scaffold being unloaded from the flatbed of a truck, using the crane mounted on the truck. The company for which he worked fabricates and installs awnings and canopies. There was a written safety program, but no safety meetings or specific training. The ground where the victim was standing was damp. The hoist cable of the crane was energized when it contacted an overhead, 6500 volt power line as the men were unloading the equipment. Another worker, seeing the situation seconds before the accident, called a warning to the men that they were too close to the overhead line. A ball of fire then engulfed the hoist cable and the victim and a coworker were held by the current for a few seconds. Both were then released and fell to the ground as the cable and power line separated. The victim died as a result of electrocution; his coworker received minor electrical burns of the hands and feet. Recommendations arising from this accident include enforcing existing regulations concerning crane operations in the vicinity of overhead powerlines, stressing hazard awareness and management's commitment to safety, evaluating every worksite and developing procedures to eliminate or minimize hazards found there, stressing safety when personnel changes occur, and using a safety observer with no other duties than to monitor the job site where there is even the remotest chance of contact with overhead power lines.
NIOSH-Author; Region-4; FACE-87-04; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-shock; Safety-practices; Accident-analysis; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Construction-Search
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division