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Hispanic painter electrocuted when the aluminum extension ladder he was positioning contacted an overhead powerline - South Carolina.
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 2003-11, 2004 Dec; :1-6
On March 25, 2003, a Hispanic painter/caulker (the victim) was electrocuted when the aluminum 40-foot extension ladder he was attempting to re-position contacted a 13.8 kilovolt overhead powerline. The victim was a member of a five-man crew that had been subcontracted to paint and caulk windows and siding on a newly constructed three-story private residence. He had positioned his ladder between the side of the residence and a seven-foot-high wooden fence frame located seven feet, four inches from the side of the residence. A 13.8 kilovolt powerline was located approximately ten feet from the side of the residence, and 24 feet above ground level. The victim was working in an area approximately 26 feet above ground caulking windows and siding. He climbed down the ladder and began to re-position it on the side of the residence. One of the other crew members heard the victim yell and turned to see the victim trying to hold the ladder as it fell backward. As the ladder fell, it contacted the powerline. The victim was holding onto the ladder and was electrocuted. A worker for another contractor on site called 911 from a cell phone, then initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Emergency rescue personnel transported the victim to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead by the attending physician. 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 during the planning phases of any construction project to identify potential hazards, and to develop and implement appropriate control measures for these hazards; and, 3. develop, implement and enforce a comprehensive safety and health training program in language(s) and literacy level(s) of workers, which includes training in hazard recognition and the avoidance of unsafe conditions. Additionally, prime contractors should ensure through contract language that all subcontractors implement appropriate safety and health programs and training specific to the work to be performed. Additionally, ladder manufacturers should consider affixing dual-language labels with graphics to provide hazard warnings and instructions for safe use of ladders.
Region-4; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injury-prevention; Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-shock; Electrocutions; Racial-factors; Painters; Construction-equipment; Construction-workers
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division