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Tree trimming groundsman electrocuted after grasping a guy wire that contacted an energized guy wire in Virginia, May 7, 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 90-34; 1990 Dec; :1-6
A 20 year old male tree trimming groundsman was electrocuted when he grabbed a guy wire causing it to contact an energized conductor on a utility pole. The employer was a tree service company which had a contract to keep an electric utility right of way clear of brush and trees. On the day of the incident, a five man crew was clearing brush and trees. The victim had completed cutting brush and trees from around the guy wire which was secured to a utility pole at one end and to a steel rod anchored in the ground at the other end. He laid the chain saw he was using on the ground. He grasped the butt of a fallen tree with one hand, and the guy wire with the other hand. When he grasped the guy wire, it swayed, due to approximately 8 inches of slack in the wire, and contacted an uninsulated jumper wire which connected a 1 amp fuse to a 14,400 volt powerline. It is recommended that a jobsite survey be conducted before starting any job to identify potential hazards and implement appropriate controls; that existing safety programs be reviewed and revised to include measures that enable workers to recognize and control hazards; and that utility companies avoid placing transformers and jumper wires on utility poles in close proximity to unguarded, uninsulated guy wires.
NIOSH-Author; Region-5; FACE-90-34; Accident-analysis; Electrical-hazards; Occupational-accidents; Electric-power-transmission-lines
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