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Farm workers electrocuted when irrigation pipes contact powerlines.
Helgerson SD; Milham S Jr.
Public Health Rep 1985 May; 100(3):325-328
The circumstances surrounding electrocutions among farm workers in Washington state were examined. Forty two farmers were electrocuted during the years 1950 through 1979. Of these, 23 were killed while working near irrigation pipes that came into contact with overhead electrical lines. Between 1970 and 1979 there were 15 irrigation pipe associated electrocutions among farmers and 15 among farm workers. Among persons less than 20 years of age, such electrocutions were more common than any other type of electrocution. Of the various ways in which such accidents can be avoided, education of the population at risk and changes in methods of irrigation are the most important. In many locations, new powerlines used for irrigation systems are being placed underground. Raising the overhead powerlines so that they are out of reach of the worker carrying the irrigation pipe is also a preventive measure, but an expensive one. Changing the length of hand carried irrigation pipes to 20 feet instead of the present 40 foot length would increase the amount of labor required, but reduce the risk.
NIOSH-Author; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Electrical-hazards; Agricultural-industry; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Safety-research; Electrical-shock; Electrical-burns
Issue of Publication
Public Health Reports
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division