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Hispanic painter electrocuted when the ladder he was carrying contacted a 13,200 volt overhead powerline - North Carolina.

Romano-NT; Higgins-DN
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 2003-08, 2004 Feb; :1-8
On February 24, 2003, a 32-year-old Hispanic painter (the victim) was electrocuted when the metal ladder he was carrying contacted an overhead powerline. Prior to the incident, the victim and his co-workers had been painting a private residence. As the workers were beginning to clean up the job site at the end of the work day, the victim picked up a metal ladder to carry it to the work van. While the victim was carrying the ladder upright to the van, the foreman and several co-workers verbally warned him about the overhead powerline. Several seconds later, the victim's ladder made contact with the overhead powerline and the victim fell to the ground. The foreman and co-workers ran to assist the victim. After a co-worker made several unsuccessful attempts to call for assistance, the foreman went to a nearby home to call 911. When the foreman returned, he performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the victim who had no pulse and was not breathing. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and police personnel responded to the scene. The victim was transported via ambulance to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead in the emergency room. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. eliminate the use of conductive ladders in proximity to energized overhead powerlines; 2. conduct a jobsite survey to identify potential hazards and develop and implement appropriate control measures for these hazards; 3. develop, implement and enforce a comprehensive safety program and training in language(s) and literacy level(s) of workers which includes training in hazard recognition and the avoidance of unsafe conditions; and, 4. ensure that employees are provided with a means for emergency communication and are also trained in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) when worksites are in remote locations. Additionally, ladder manufacturers should consider affixing dual language labels with graphics to provide hazard warnings and instructions for safe use of equipment.
Region-4; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Painters; Construction-workers; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-shock; Electrocutions; Electric-power-transmission-lines
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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