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Lineman electrocuted by contacting energized 12,000-volt power line, September 9, 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 89-06, 1989 Feb; :1-3
On September 9, 1988, a 48 year old male journeyman lineman was electrocuted when he inadvertently contacted an energized 12,000 volt power line while performing maintenance work on a utility pole. The employer was a power line construction and maintenance company employing approximately 300 individuals. The victim was part of a four man crew installing squirrel guards. He was working on a pole which held a 25,000 volt transformer. A guy wire ran from the pole to the ground. A cut out switch on the jumper to the transformer had been opened, deenergizing the transformer so the squirrel guard could be installed. The victim was wearing a lineman's belt and was tied off above the neutral wire. His right foot was near or on the neutral wire insulator. He removed his insulated gloves and was working barehanded on a connection when he apparently slipped. As he did so his left hand contacted the energized side of the cut out switch and a path to ground was established through the bare neutral wire. When the victim collapsed, the connection was broken. The victim was removed from the pole about 10 minutes after the incident. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The cause of death was electrocution. Recommendations included enforcing the use of personal protective equipment, teaching workers to maintain clearance when working near energized circuits or using physical guards, and conducting prejob surveys of worksites to determine what components can be deenergized before work starts.
NIOSH-Author; Region-4; FACE-89-06; Electrical-workers; Personal-protective-equipment; Safety-practices; Accident-analysis; Electrical-shock; 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