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Lineman electrocuted in North Carolina, June 7, 1988.

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 88-23, 1988 Sep; :1-5
The case of a 41 year old male journeyman lineman with 23 years experience who was killed when his hands contacted both sides of a switch on a pole mounted capacitor bank was examined. The victim was employed by an electrical contractor with a written safety policy, a comprehensive safety and training program, and a full time safety officer. The victim and a crew leader arrived at the site to connect a capacitor bank. They first held a tailgate safety meeting. As the day was going to be extremely hot, the safety director told the victim to take all the extra time and precautions needed to compete the job safely. At noon the victim indicated his hands were cramping and that he was very hot. He was instructed to take a break and get a drink while the crew leader called the utility company to ask a technical question. The victim lowered himself to the ground and removed his gloves and hung them on hooks in the basket. The leader had walked away about 50 feet when he heard an electrical arc. He turned to see that the victim had raised the bucket up to the power lines. He was upright in the bucket but leaning backwards; his gloves were still hanging on the hooks on the bucket. The victim's left hand had contacted the jaw of the switch and his right had contacted the base of the switch. It is not certain whether the man did not put his gloves back on because they were uncomfortable or because the heat stress caused him to think unclearly. It is recommended that personal protective equipment be evaluated while workers perform tasks under different environmental conditions.
NIOSH-Author; FACE-88-23; Region-4; Accident-analysis; Electrical-workers; Work-practices; Safety-research; Electrical-hazards; Electric-power-transmission-lines
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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