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Foreman electrocuted and lineman injured after truck-mounted crane boom contacts 7,200-volt overhead powerline in Virginia, August 22, 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 90-39, 1991 Jan; :1-10
A 24 year old male lineman foreman was electrocuted when he grabbed the door handle on a crane truck whose boom was in contact with a three phase 7,200 volt 24 foot high overhead powerline. He was employed by a telecommunications company. The foreman and a crew of three other workers were removing four poles that had supported an advertisement billboard. The poles were 15 feet away from the overhead powerline. To remove the poles, a lineman positioned the truck mounted crane directly under the powerline. While standing on the ground, he maneuvered the crane boom using the rubber coated hand control levers mounted at the back of the truck. While the workers were pulling out the third pole, the end of the boom contacted the overhead powerline. A laborer saw that the lineman was being shocked and was unable to let go of the control; he kicked the lineman in the chest, breaking the connection. The truck tires ignited and the truck began to burn. The foreman, upon witnessing this, tried to open one of the truck doors and was electrocuted. The lineman suffered minor burns on his hand. It is recommended that a job survey be conducted prior to work in order to identify all possible hazards; that cranes not be operated within 10 feet of energized powerlines; that boomed vehicle operators be trained in the safe operation of the vehicles; that the local utility be contacted to deenergize power lines or insulate them in the vicinity of a work area; that a safety program be developed and that truck mounted cranes be retrofitted with electrically isolated crane control systems.
NIOSH-Author; Region-3; FACE-90-39; Accident-analysis; Electrical-hazards; Occupational-accidents; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Electrical-burns; Construction-Search
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Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
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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