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Two workers (a carpenter and a laborer) electrocuted in South Carolina, June 5, 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 87-48, 1987 Jul; :1-4
Several workers were moving scaffolding when it contacted a 13,750 volt overhead power line, killing two of the workers and injuring five others. The victims worked for a general contractor with no written safety policy or established safety program. On the job training was provided, and safety was viewed as a matter of common sense. Each section of the metal scaffolding was 4 feet wide and 7 feet long. The total height of the scaffolding was 31 feet. The men were painting a 33 foot high sign when they were asked to move the scaffold away so that concrete access road could be poured. A 13,750 volt line was 27 feet from the ground, 10 feet distant from one of the scaffolds. The newly constructed concrete access road was 4 to 6 inches higher than ground level, requiring the workers to pick up the scaffolding to begin to move it back into place. The top section of scaffolding uplifted, toppled over, and contacted the power line. The electricity knocked all seven workers away. A carpenter and a laborer received fatal electrical burns; the other five workers were hospitalized with electrical burns. It is recommended that scaffolding should not be moved unless all safety hazards have been identified and addressed. Locking pins should be used to secure panels of scaffolding together. A written safety program should be developed and implemented by this employer. Sufficient time should be allocated to a job to complete it without taking any risks.
NIOSH-Author; Region-4; FACE-87-48; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Electrical-shock; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Safety-practices; Painters; Construction-workers; 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