NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Production welder electrocuted in Ohio, July 29, 1985.

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 85-38, 1985 Aug; :1-5
On July 29, 1985, a 29 year old male production welder, an employee of a metal fabrication company, was plugging the cord to a portable welder into an extension cord when he was electrocuted. The male end of the extension cord was four pronged and the female end was spring loaded. He plugged the male end of the extension cord into the receptacle, and then picked up the plug of the welder and the extension cord and connected them together. When he completed the connection, the outside metal casing of the plug on the welder became energized and the victim was electrocuted. Inspection later revealed that the female end of the extension cord had been broken and that the spring, the cover plate, and a piece of the melamine casing were completely missing from the face of the female connector. The ground prong of the welder was inserted 90 degrees clockwise from the ground terminal, so that the normally grounded metal cover on the welder plug was electrified. This would not be possible with a plug that was complete and intact. The victim was completely deaf in one ear and suffered from diminished hearing in the other ear. If the extension cord had been dropped at the site by the victim, he may not have heard the plug break. Recommendations include training employees to recognize hazards associated with electrical energy and to inspect electrical parts before use, avoiding the use of extension cords as a substitute for fixed wiring, and replacing the melamine connector with a connector that can take the abuse to which it may be subjected during use.
NIOSH-Author; Region-5; FACE-85-38; Accident-analysis; Safety-practices; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-shock; Welding-industry
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
Source Name
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