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Lineman dies from fall from utility pole in Ohio, July 26, 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 88-39, 1988 Dec; :1-5
The case of a 33 year old male lineman killed after falling 23 feet from a utility pole was examined. The company for which the lineman worked, a large municipal power company, had a written safety policy and procedures but no designated safety officer. The responsibility for safety compliance rested with area managers. The victim was employed by the company for 9 years but had only 1 year's experience at the task he was performing at the time of his death. He and his supervisor were engaged in routine maintenance on an electrical distribution system, performing load tests to determine if overload conditions had damaged the transformers. He was wearing leather gloves, a standard lineman's tool belt and safety strap. As the transformer was located 3 feet above a cable television line, he could not climb to the transformer with the safety strap around the pole, so carried it over his left shoulder. With his feet just below the cable, he grasped a neutral guy wire with his left hand while reaching around the pole with his right to remove the safety strap and secure it around the pole. His right hand contacted an energized 120 volt secondary line on the transformer. He fell backwards, striking the ground head first, and died as a result of a broken neck. It is recommended that personal protective equipment be used whenever the potential for a serious fall exists and that insulated personal protective equipment should be used when work is performed near energized power lines. The location of the pole itself and the location of the cable television lines on the pole were work environment factors which exposed the lineman to this hazard.
NIOSH-Author; FACE-88-39; Region-5; Accident-analysis; Safety-research; Electrical-workers; Electrical-shock; Traumatic-injuries; 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