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Service operations technician dies after contacting 7680-volt switch, May 13, 1989.

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 89-40, 1989 Sep; :1-6
An evaluation was conducted of a 40 year old male service operations technician who died after contacting an energized 7680 volt switch while observing a service operations technician trainee operating the switch. The employer was a large utility company which has been in operation for more than 140 years and employs 8600 workers. The company has a comprehensive, multifaceted safety program which addresses all hazards to which employees may be exposed and holds scheduled safety training programs on a regular basis. The victim was working the third shift, which began at midnight, and had been training a service operations technician. At about 7:15 in the morning they were assigned the task of restoring power to a large shopping mall. The trainee put on the required safety clothing and began his task working with a load buster attached to a hot stick which was to be used in the process of opening or closing switches. During the operation the spring loaded button on the load buster became disengaged from the hole in the hot stick. While the trainee was attempting to realign the hole in the hot stick with the button on the load buster the technician reached out with his bare right hand to assist him and was electrocuted. It was recommended that the design of the system for attaching the load buster to the hot stick be reviewed, that periodic spot checks of worksites by management and supervisory personnel be conducted to verify that established safe work practices are being followed, and that safety rules and practices be followed by all employees at all times.
NIOSH-Author; FACE-89-40; Region-3; Electrical-shock; Electrical-hazards; Safety-practices; Electrical-workers; Accident-analysis; Protective-clothing
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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