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Utility person electrocuted in Virginia, July 6, 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 87-56, 1987 Jul; :1-4
A 21 year old utility man was electrocuted while disconnecting the power source to a knitting machine motor. He inadvertently touched an energized prong of the plug. The company for which he worked dyed and printed synthetic yarns, employing 350 full time people, and had a written safety program. Safety inspections of the facility were conducted bimonthly. The victim apparently noted that four of the 12 knitting heads on a machine had stopped operating. The heads were divided into groups of four, each group operated by a separate motor. A drive belt from the motor to the knitting heads had come off the pulley. The motor was supplied by a 575 volt alternating current, 60 hertz power source to which it was connected by means of a flexible cord and a three prong twistlock plug and receptacle. Even though it was not one of his regular duties, the victim apparently decided to reinstall the drive belt. He was attempting to disconnect power to the motor and, holding the twist lock device in both hands, plug in one and receptacle in the other, twisted the device and began to pull apart the plug and receptacle. A part of the victim's hand contacted an energized prong, causing his electrocution. It is recommended that employers should implement lockout/tagout procedures in their safety programs, and that a comprehensive safety program be developed which would include work procedures for disconnecting a power source and training of the employees to recognize hazards.
NIOSH-Author; Region-3; FACE-87-56; Electrical-hazards; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Safety-practices
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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