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Textile worker (fixer) electrocuted when he contacts an energized conductor in South Carolina, August 4, 1991.

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 91-28, 1991 Dec; :1-5
The case of a 44 year old fixer who was electrocuted at a textile facility when he contacted an energized electrical conductor inside a 550 volt control box was investigated. The employer was a textile manufacturer which employed 506 persons, and had a written safety program with written safety instructions. The victim, part of a two man crew, arrived at the site 1 hour prior to production start time in order to ready the carding machines. The victim turned on 41 of 42 carding machines. The 550 volt control box on the remaining idle machine apparently was overheating. He opened the unlocked control box door. The door handle interlock switch was broken and the line side of the box remained energized. The victim obtained a damaged screwdriver and an air hose equipped with a metal nozzle. In his right hand he held the screwdriver. He positioned the handle against his abdomen and pushed in the reset button with the tip. The left hand he used to position the metal nozzle inside the control box to direct the flow of air toward the reset button, possibly trying to lower the control box temperature. The nozzle at some point contacted an energized conductor which allowed current to flow through the body to ground, electrocuting the worker. It was recommended that employers perform periodic inspections of electrical systems at their facilities and institute a procedure to correct all identified hazards; that employers evaluate their current safety programs; and that handtools be inspected on a regular basis.
NIOSH-Author; Region-4; FACE-91-28; Accident-analysis; Work-practices; Textiles-industry; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-shock; Hand-tools
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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