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Welder/pipefitter electrocuted in South Carolina, July 20, 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 88-31, 1988 Nov; :1-5
The case of a 26 year old male welder/pipefitter who died when he contacted an energized electrical conductor and fell to a concrete floor 29 feet below was examined. The employee worked for a pipefitting and steel erection company with 15 employees. He had received training at a local technical school and on the job. The company had no formal safety program. He was a member of a crew whose job it was to assemble and install a large steel storage rack in a carpet warehouse. An electrician was removing light fixtures 2 feet above the storage rack at the time of the accident. The power to the light fixtures was disconnected, but the power for the night lights had been left on for the operation. All the fixtures were removed, including those on the nightlight circuit. The final fixture could not be reached from the rack. The electrician decided to wait to remove this one until the space below was cleared and a hydraulic manlift could be used. He left the room while his assistant (the victim) was to gather the tools. When he returned the assistant had almost completed the job on the remaining fixture and would not stop working on it when told to do so by the electrician. He cut the energized 110 volt power lead for the light with a pair of uninsulated metal wire cutters, was electrocuted, and fell 29 feet to the floor. Had the employee received adequate training he would not have made this error. Had the second circuit also been deenergized, the accident would not have occurred. Appropriately insulated tools should have been used.
NIOSH-Author; FACE-88-31; Region-4; Accident-analysis; Safety-research; Work-practices; Electrical-shock; Welders; 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