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Electrical lineman electrocuted by contact with energized powerline in Puerto Rico, September 28, 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 90-06, 1990 May; :1-7
A journeyman lineman with 6 years of experience who was a member of an electrical utility work crew was electrocuted when the boom and bucket of the bucket truck rotated into an energized 4800 volt powerline in Puerto Rico. The work crew had been working for 10 days to restore electrical power in the wake of Hurricane Hugo. The incident occurred at about 8:30pm. The lineman noticed, just prior to the accident, that the plastic tool basket mounted on the side of the bucket with copper wire hooks was filled with water. He removed the basket and emptied it. When he was reinstalling the basket in the dark, one of the hooks caught on the lever which controlled boom rotation and engaged it, causing the boom to swing into the powerline. He came in contact with an energized 4800 volt powerline and a secondary fuse box. The worker was thrown from the bucket by the force of the boom striking the powerline. It is recommended that company safety procedures be followed at all times. In this case the bucket truck was not grounded and no insulating line hoses or blankets were used around energized lines. Employers should provide portable lighting for workers required to work during periods of darkness. Employers should conduct a comprehensive inspection of each worksite prior to the start of each job to identify all potential hazards.
NIOSH-Author; Region-2; FACE-90-06; Accident-analysis; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-burns; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Occupational-hazards
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division