NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Distribution line technician electrocuted in South Carolina, October 15, 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 91-01, 1991 Mar; :1-5
The case of a 46 year old distribution line technician who was killed while clearing branches from a single phase, 7200 volt primary powerline was examined. The employer was a public electric utility that employed more than 20,000 workers. The company had a written safety policy, a comprehensive safety program, and a corporate safety director. The victim (a distribution line technician) and a groundman were assigned to clear tree branches from the 7200 volt primary powerline following a tropical storm. The men drove to a pole mounted switch and opened it, intending to deenergize the powerline where they had detected problems. They made no attempt to ground the primary powerline. The switch they had opened was to a tap line located on the same pole as the primary powerline at this location. The victim climbed the tree which was thick with foliage and branches. The groundman heard an arcing sound and saw the victim fall through the tree limbs to the ground. Electrocution was the cause of death. It was recommended that all workers be familiar with the operation of every electrical component prior to working on any electrical system, and that all workers be trained in and follow established safe work procedures relevant to their duties and responsibilities.
NIOSH-Author; Region-4; FACE-91-01; Accident-analysis; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-workers; Work-practices; Electrical-shock; Electric-power-transmission-lines
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division