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Request for assistance in preventing electrocutions of workers using portable metal ladders near overhead power lines.

Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 89-110, 1989 Jul; :1-5
Case reports for five accidents were presented to underscore the risk at which workers using portable metal ladders or conductive ladders were placed when working near energized overhead power lines. The first case involved a 28 year old worker whose ladder contacted a 7,200 volt powerline located 8 feet from the top of the billboard on which he was working. The second case involved a 27 year old painter repositioning a fully extended 24 foot aluminum ladder which contacted a 7,200 volt overhead line located 8 feet from the gutter which he was contracted to paint. The third case involved the deaths of two painters, using a 36 foot aluminum extension ladder to paint a 20 foot high metal light pole. The ladder slipped from the pole, contacting a 12,460 volt line. The fourth case involved a 28 year old painter and coworker using an aluminum ladder to clean the outside brick wall of a three story convalescent home. One man held the ladder while the other ascended to extend the top section. The ladder tipped backward, contacting a 7,200 volt line. The worker on the ladder received a shock and fell to the ground. The worker holding the ladder provided a path to ground and was electrocuted. The last case involved an 18 year old construction worker who was holding a ladder with the help of a coworker while a third man climbed. As the worker climbed, the ladder tipped backward, contacting a 7,200 volt overhead power line located 6 feet from the building. In each of these cases there were clear violations of the existing safety rules.
Electrical-shock; Construction-workers; Painting; Safety-practices; Work-practices; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Electrical-hazards; Construction-Search
Publication Date
Document Type
Numbered Publication; Alert
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 89-110
NIOSH Division
Source Name
NIOSH Alert, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 89-110, 5 pages, 13 references