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Department of transportation maintenance foreman is electrocuted and a highway maintenance worker severely burned when truck bed contacts overhead 7,200-volt powerline - South Carolina, March 15, 1994.
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 94-08, 1994 Sep; :1-7
A 46 year old male road maintenance foreman who was employed by the state department of transportation was electrocuted and another road maintenance worker was severely burned when the dump bed of a truck came in contact with an overhead powerline. A five man crew was repairing and repaving an interstate highway exit ramp and a section of a two lane highway frontage road that ran parallel to the interstate. Overhead, a 7,200 volt powerline ran perpendicular to the frontage road. After discussing the powerline, the foreman indicated he would monitor the clearance between the asphalt truck and the powerline. At the time of the incident, the foreman was leaning against the paving machine, one worker was operating the asphalt depth screw regulator while standing on the ground at the rear of the paving machine, and two workers were seated at the operator's station on the paving machine. The truck backed against the paving machine and then raised the bed to allow the asphalt to flow. The truck bed contacted the powerline, allowing the current to travel through the truck bed and paving machine to ground through the foreman and the road worker. The road worker's clothes ignited. The foreman was electrocuted and the other worker suffered severe burns to 35% of his body. Subsequent measurements indicated the powerline was 15 feet 10 inches above the roadway and the truck bed could be raised 17 feet 3 inches. Recommendations included having powerlines deenergized or insulated before operating a dump truck nearby. Utility companies should ensure that the vertical clearance of supply cables complies with applicable rules.
NIOSH-Author; Region-4; FACE-94-08; Accident-analysis; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Safety-research; Work-practices; Electrical-hazards; Road-construction
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
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