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Deputy sheriff electrocuted in South Carolina, February 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 88-19, 1988 Sep; :1-5
The case of a 39 year old male deputy sheriff who was electrocuted while attempting to move a 7,200 volt power line that was down across a highway due to a motor vehicle crash was examined. The victim was employed as a full time deputy sheriff. Deputies received 8 weeks of on the job training and 2 weeks classroom training in law enforcement. A car struck a utility pole and the insulator attaching the primary wire to the pole snapped, allowing the primary wire to fall. As traffic in the area increased, the state trooper on the scene called the local sheriff's department for aid. The victim assured the trooper that the downed power line was a ground wire as it was not wrapped with insulation and therefore could be safety moved. The deputy grasped the power line and began to carry it to the side of the road. The state trooper was returning to his vehicle when he saw a flash behind him, a civilian stated that when the victim stepped onto the wet berm, the "line got him" and the victim rolled over the bank. The victim may not have been electrocuted when he first picked up the line because there was a broken part of the insulator still attached to the line, which he may have grasped. The line had remained energized throughout the incident. It is recommended that personnel assigned responsibility to coordinate activities at an incident should follow established safety procedures. Employers should anticipate all possible hazards to which men who must deal with emergency situations may be exposed and train them accordingly.
NIOSH-Author; FACE-88-19; Region-4; Accident-analysis; Safety-research; Policemen; Law-enforcement-workers; Electrical-hazards; Electric-power-transmission-lines
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division