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Technician electrocuted while performing maintenance on a walk-in cooler in Virginia, August 20, 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 91-32, 1992 Feb; :1-7
The case of a heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) technician who was electrocuted while performing refrigeration maintenance on a restaurant walk in cooler was examined. The victim was a 33 year old man with an Associate's degree as a HVACR technician. The victim worked for a small company that performed HVACR maintenance services for commercial and industrial equipment. The company employed 14 workers, and had general written safety procedures. After doing some preliminary work, the victim partially connected his vacuum pump lines to the refrigerant system without deenergizing the refrigeration unit (RU). The technician was electrocuted when he touched the surface of the energized RU. Electrical inspections conducted after the accident revealed that one of the phase conductors in the RU starter had its insulation damaged and was arcing to the flexible conduit connector. The connection between the flexible conduit and the conduit connector had loosened and disrupted the grounding continuity between the starter and the RU. The author recommends that electrical equipment should be deenergized before servicing, a mechanical grounding conductor should be available, ground fault protection should be provided, and employers should provide training to prevent against unsafe work practices.
NIOSH-Author; FACE-91-32; Region-3; Accident-analysis; Work-practices; Electrical-workers; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-shock; Refrigeration-equipment
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