A line crew, assigned the task of restoring power to secondary service lines at night, determined that a switch had to be opened on a pole-mounted transformer to de-energize the line on which repairs were to be made. The powerline repairs were needed as a result of damage caused by Hurricane Hugo. A co-worker lifted a hot stick to open the switch. As the victim walked toward the co-worker, his right arm contacted a powerline that was dangling from the pole. He fell backward and landed on his back on top of the powerline. The dangling phase was aluminum, while all other phases attached to the pole were copper. A guy wire anchor was buried in the ground approximately 20 feet from the pole, but no guy wire was attached. It is assumed that the victim either did not see the wire because of the darkness or thought that it was a guy wire (because of its color) and believed, therefore, that it was not energized. NIOSH investigators concluded that, in order to prevent future similar occurrences, employers and employees must: 1) treat all powerlines as energized unless verified de-energized; 2) perform a site inspection prior to the start of work to identify any potential hazards present at the jobsite; 3) provide and utilize adequate lighting while performing line work at night; 4) ensure that all conductors in a given system are constructed of the same material to eliminate confusion.
Region-2; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-safety; Electrical-shock; Electrical-workers; Electricity; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Safety-programs; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-safety-programs; Traumatic-injuries