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Lineman electrocuted after contacting 7,200-volt cutout switch on utility pole in Tennessee, February 21, 1990.
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 90-26, 1990 Jun; :1-6
A 60 year old male lineman was electrocuted when he came in contact with a 7,200 volt cutout switch on a utility pole. He was employed by a company that had been contracted by the local utility company to replace approximately 1 mile of a power distribution line to accommodate the added electrical demand for a new housing subdivision in the area. He had installed and connected the cutout switch on the pole. After the work had been completed, the victim, safely on the ground, radioed crew members to activate the lines. After the line was energized, the victim noted that a piece of electrical tape was hanging from the top of the cutout switch and he climbed up the pole to remove it. He did not put on his safety belt or lineman gloves. Once up the pole, he grabbed a guy wire with his right hand; his foot slipped, and his left hand contacted the top of the live 7200 volt circuit cutout switch. It is recommended that employers ensure that workers wear required personal protective equipment before climbing utility poles that have energized circuits; that employers ensure that employees working from utility poles wear body belts with safety straps or lanyards; and that employers conduct scheduled and unscheduled safety inspections.
NIOSH-Author; Region-4; FACE-90-26; Accident-analysis; Safety-practices; Electrical-hazards; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Occupational-accidents
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
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