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Roofer electrocuted when ladder contacts 7200-volt power line, October 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 89-16, 1989 Mar; :1-3
On October 20, 1988, a 23 year old male roofer was electrocuted when the 40 foot aluminum extension ladder he was positioning contacted an overhead 7200 volt power line. The victim had been a partner with his uncle in a roofing company for 5 years. On the day of the incident, the victim and three other men were replacing the asbestos shingles on a church roof. A power line was about 15 feet from the side of the church, and about 35 feet above the ground. The victim descended one of the two 40 foot aluminum extension ladders in use. He then began to move the ladder, extending it still higher. He was warned by a coworker (the victim's cousin) about the power lines but insisted on continuing in this activity. The ladder contacted the overhead wires and the coworker attempted to pull the victim from the ladder; the coworker received an electrical shock. The ladder broke contact with the power line and fell. The uncle began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the unconscious coworker; when he responded, the uncle started CPR on the victim. Both workers were transported to a hospital by a rescue squad. The victim was pronounced dead; the cause of death was listed as electrocution. The coworker was hospitalized. The uncle indicated that the victim had been unusually distracted for the two days prior to the incident and was totally aware of the electrical hazard presented by the power line. Recommendations are made concerning the use of aluminum ladders when there is a possibility of contact with power lines, covering power lines with insulating hoses or blankets, and development of a safety program.
NIOSH-Author; Region-4; FACE-89-16; Electrical-hazards; Construction-workers; Construction-industry; Accident-analysis; Safety-practices; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Roofers; 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