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Painter electrocuted in North Carolina, September 1, 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 88-04, 1987 Dec; :1-5
The case of a painter who was electrocuted when the 40 foot aluminum extension ladder he and a coworker were raising contacted a 7200 volt power line was examined. The employer was a small painting contractor, with seven workers. There was no written safety program. On the day of the accident the painter and three other workers were assigned the task of cleaning the outside brick of a convalescent home in preparation for painting. The victim and a coworker were using a bleach solution to prepare the building. A 40 foot aluminum extension ladder was used to reach the upper sections of the home. A three phase 7200 volt overhead power line was located 31 feet above ground and 15 feet away from the convalescent home. Telephone lines, heavily covered with vines, ran directly below and parallel to the power lines, 18 feet from the ground. The victim held and balanced the ladder as the coworker simultaneously climbed and raised the extension. The ladder, after being raised 34 feet, tipped backwards and contacted the power line. The coworker was knocked from the ladder and the victim, who provided a path to ground, was electrocuted. Ladders used near energized power lines should be made of nonconductive materials. The employer should develop a safety program to recognize and avoid hazards. Arrangements should be made with the power company to deenergize the lines or cover them with insulating line hoses or blankets. Regular inspection should be made of the lines so that they can be kept clear of vines and other problems.
NIOSH-Author; Region-4; FACE-88-04; Accident-analysis; Work-practices; Safety-research; Electrical-hazards; Painters; Electrical-shock; Electric-power-transmission-lines; 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