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Painter electrocuted in Virginia, April 17, 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 87-40, 1987 Jun; :1-4
A 27 year old painter was electrocuted on April 17, 1987, while wrapping plastic around an insulator in preparation for painting a steel structure in a substation. The worker was employed by a service company which had been hired to do the painting. An inspection tour of the facility was conducted, but the crew leader, who was to take part in the painting, did not participate. Two structures were identified on the tour. One was a deenergized 34.5 kilovolt (kV) structure which was to be painted and the other was an energized 11kV structure which was to be avoided. Two days later the crew leader and four workers arrived at the substation. They had been told to paint the structure to the right as they entered the gate. On entering the gate the workers observed the deenergized structure on their right, but misinterpreted the presence of ground connections and assumed this was the energized circuit. They proceeded to the 11kV energized circuit and misread the open disconnects as indicating the system to be deenergized. The victim stood on a steel beam about 8 inches in width, to wrap an insulator to protect it from paint, when he contacted an 11kV conductor and was electrocuted, falling 22.5 feet to the ground. It was recommended that access to substations be prohibited if qualified personnel are not present, that verbal or written authorization be given to contractors and employees before beginning work near energized facilities, and that fall protection be worn when working above heights of 6 feet.
NIOSH-Author; Region-3; FACE-87-40; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-shock; Painters; Safety-practices; Construction-Search
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Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
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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