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Apprentice lineman electrocuted in West Virginia, November 4, 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 88-03, 1988 Sep; :1-6
The case of a 30 year old male apprentice lineman working as a member of a power line construction crew who was electrocuted while installing a new length of overhead distribution conductor was examined. The victim was employed by a large power line construction company, which had a formal safety program. He had worked for the company for over 2 months but had not attended the company training program. The victim was part of a five man crew stringing a new circuit conductor on crossbars 5 feet beneath an existing 12,000 volt, three phase overhead electrical service. The victim was leaning over the side of a trailer mounted line tensioner, and a coworker was at the rear of the trailer. The new conductor was being pulled from the tensioner by a pulling rig located at the other end of the run. A couple of loops developed in the wire and the tension on the new conductor increased as the pulling unit continued to operate. This caused the loosely strung new conductor to raise by several feet between the supporting crossbraces. It contacted an existing energized conductor that was sagging about 10 feet below the crossbrace mountings for the new conductor. The tensioner trailer was energized by current from the new conductor, and the the victim was electrocuted. It is recommended that employers performed a job hazard analysis of a project prior to initiating work. A serious hazard at this site was that the new conductor might contact the old, energized conductor. Where new conductors are being installed near existing energized conductors, guards should be installed. The tensioner trailer and the truck to which it was attached should have been grounded.
NIOSH-Author; FACE-88-03; Region-3; Accident-analysis; Electrical-workers; Work-practices; Safety-research; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Electrical-hazards
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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