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Sign technician electrocuted stepping from energized ladder truck, November 29, 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 89-08, 1989 Mar; :1-5
On November 29, 1988, a 45 year old male sign technician was electrocuted when a steel cable attached to the extended ladder of the ladder truck he was operating contacted a 12 kilovolt overhead power line, and he stepped from his truck to the ground while holding the energized door. The two man company, a sign and service business, had been in operation for 4 years. The company had no written safety rules. The victim and a helper were changing light bulbs in pole mounted lighting fixtures at a shopping center parking lot. Just prior to the incident, the victim had changed a light bulb and was moving the truck to the next light pole which was located on the shopping center's entrance roadway. As the victim was driving the ladder truck down the entrance roadway toward the main highway, the steel cable hanging from the tip of the extended ladder contacted a 12 kilovolt overhead power line. The victim apparently noticed a problem had occurred and proceeded to get out of the truck. As he stepped onto the ground while holding the door, he completed the path to ground for the electrical current and was electrocuted. He was engulfed in flames when the ladder truck caught fire as a result of the arcing electricity. His body was removed after the power line was deenergized. According to the coroner, death was due to electrocution and severe burns. Recommendations to prevent accidents of this type are included.
NIOSH-Author; Region-4; FACE-89-08; Electrical-workers; Accident-analysis; Safety-practices; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Electrical-shock
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
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