NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Truck driver dies when crane boom contacts powerline, August 22, 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 89-48, 1990 Jan; :1-7
A 43 year old male truck driver died when the boom of the truck mounted crane he was operating contacted a 14,400 volt overhead powerline. The employer was a large building materials supply company which employed 1,726 individuals. The victim was one of 52 drivers who delivered concrete products. The company had a full time safety officer, a written safety policy and a procedures manual which included safety information. The victim had unloaded blocks on three sides of a building site and was then moving the crane truck to the fourth side to unload the last pallet of blocks. A driveway ran parallel to the new building at this location. Also parallel to the new building, but across the driveway, ran two sets of overhead power lines. The victim positioned his truck in the driveway between the lines and lowered the outriggers to stabilize the truck. Standing at the rear of the truck he began to raise the crane boom to a vertical position using a remote control device attached to the truck by a 15 foot long umbilical cord. The boom crane contacted the uppermost wire which energized the truck mounted crane, the umbilical cord, and the remote control device, electrocuting the victim. It is recommended that cranes not be operated within 10 feet of power lines, that consideration be given to use of electrically isolated remote control systems, that boom vehicle operators be trained in safe operation of booms, and that power lines be insulated or deenergized if there is no alternative to operating a crane in close proximity to the power lines.
NIOSH-Author; FACE-89-48; Region-4; Accident-analysis; Safety-research; Work-practices; Construction-workers; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-shock
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