A power company crew (a supervisor, a lineman, and two meter readers) was assigned the task of restoring secondary service to residences in an area that had been damaged by Hurricane Hugo. When the crew arrived at the jobsite after dark, the supervisor decided that two phases of an existing three-phase drop service needed to be reattached to a pole-mounted transformer near a residence. When the lineman had completed reattaching the two phases, one of the meter readers (the victim) went to the residence to tell the occupants that their power had been restored. As the victim stepped over a chain-link fence into the yard of the residence, he lost his balance and grabbed a wire clothesline in an effort to regain his balance. Co-workers noticed the victim was being shocked and knocked him away from the clothesline and fence. The wire clothesline was attached to a metal pole that supported the tin roof of the residence. An energized secondary service from a nearby residence had been torn loose from its connection and was lying across and energizing the tin roof, metal pole and clothesline at 110 volts. When the victim grabbed the wire clothesline, his body provided a path to ground, causing his electrocution. NIOSH investigators concluded that, in order to prevent future similar occurrences, employers and employees must: 1) conduct a comprehensive jobsite survey prior to the start of work to identify all potential hazards that workers might encounter during the performance of their duties; 2) provide and utilize adequate lighting while performing work place safety inspections prior to the start of work and during powerline repair work at night; 3) instruct all workers to treat all conductive components in their work area with extreme caution, especially when the electrical system in their work area has suffered extensive damage, and wear appropriate personal protective equipment when necessary.
Region-2; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Electrical-conductivity; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-safety; Electrical-shock; Electrical-workers; Electricity; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-safety-programs; Traumatic-injuries; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Safety-practices; Traumatic-injuries