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Line technician electrocuted during power restoration following Hurricane Hugo in South Carolina, October 11, 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 90-08, 1990 Jun; :1-5
A 58 year old male line technician employed by a utility company was electrocuted while working to restore electrical service in South Carolina in the wake of Hurricane Hugo. He and a coworker had cleared debris from a pole mounted three phase 7200 volt powerline and requested that the three phases be energized, thinking the problems were resolved. However, a problem still existed and the workers began to search for the problem without having the lines deenergized. The middle phase had been pulled down into a guy wire by storm debris. After climbing a pole, the victim called for a pair of pliers but declined the offer of a hard hat. While maneuvering between the powerlines, with his feet on the neutral wire, the back of his head contacted an energized jumper wire and he was electrocuted. It is recommended that during emergency operations, extra emphasis be placed on strict adherence to all safety procedures, that the company reevaluate its procedures relating to the deenergization of powerlines, and that company policy require workers to visually inspect an entire circuit that has been deenergized for maintenance prior to energizing that circuit.
NIOSH-Author; Region-4; FACE-90-08; Accident-analysis; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-burns; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Occupational-hazards; Personal-protective-equipment
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division