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Apprentice lineman dies after contacting 7200-volt primary wire, May 2, 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 89-39, 1989 Sep; :1-6
A 20 year old male apprentice lineman died after making direct contact with a 7200 volt primary wire. The victim was working for a large, multistate utility services contractor employing over 10,000 workers. The company has a multifaceted safety program that specifically addresses the hazards employees in each of the various subdivisions are likely to encounter. On the day of the accident it had been raining and all linework was thus cancelled. The rain stopped about noon and the victim and his crew leader went out to look at an area where they would be working the following day. The journeyman was not with the other two men, but the crew leader decided they would go ahead and do the job that afternoon, allowing the apprentice to perform the job himself, a direct violation of the safety policy. After climbing the utility pole to begin the transfer of one primary and three secondary lines from an old utility pole to a new pole less than 18 inches away, the apprentice was electrocuted when he made contact with the 7200 volt primary line. The victim was wearing only his leather overgloves while attempting to install a section of line hose. The little fingers of both hands made contact with the energized primary wire. The path to ground was established from the victim's hands, through his body, to the metal climbers strapped to his legs. The victim's rubber gloves and a second pair of leather overgloves were in a tool pouch on his hip and a pair of rubber guards for his climbers were in the crew truck when the incident occurred.
NIOSH-Author; FACE-89-39; Region-3; Electrical-shock; Electrical-hazards; Accident-analysis; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Safety-practices; Electrical-workers; Personal-protective-equipment
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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