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County worker dies in Tennessee, August 28, 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 85-43, 1985 Aug; :1-5
On August 28, 1985, a 25 year old county highway worker was electrocuted when the 20 foot steel handle of a modified post hole digger he was holding made contact with a 7200 volt power line. On the day of the accident the road crew was performing maintenance work on a clogged section of pipe in an open drainage ditch. There was a 7200 volt power line about 20 feet above the drain pipe. The post hole digger had been modified by replacing the wooden handles with a 20 foot length of 2 inch steel pipe. After the victim had cleaned out one half of the drain pipe, he removed the modified post hole digger from the drain pipe and held it on end at the side of the ditch. He then began to move the modified post hole digger to the opposite end of the drain pipe. The handle of the modified post hole digger contacted the 7200 volt power line and the victim was electrocuted. It is recommended that the employer should initiate a safety policy that addresses specific tasks performed by the employees, identifies safety hazards, and stresses safety training. The employer should also have provided proper equipment to do the task assigned. The use of a nonconductive material for tool handles should be considered.
NIOSH-Author; Region-4; FACE-85-43; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-shock; Accident-analysis; Electric-power-transmission-lines
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division