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Laborer electrocuted while felling trees on private property.

Indiana State Department of Health
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 94IN061, 1994 Jun; :1-4
A 53-year-old male laborer was electrocuted while felling trees on private property one quarter of a mile from the employer's home. The victim, with alleged experience of fifteen years felling trees, started to work about 3:00 p.m. the day of the fatal injury. The victim was instructed by the employer to clear a specific area. For unknown reasons the victim moved 20 feet north and east from the specified area and began felling trees. He was electrocuted when a tree he was cutting fell against a powerline estimated by the power company to carry 138,000 volts. This tree had been approximately 73 feet high and its base was located 40 feet, on a horizontal plane, from the powerline which was 38 feet above the ground. The electrical current traveled from phase to ground killing the victim instantly. The State FACE investigator concluded to prevent similar occurrences employers should: 1. Contact the local utility company to de-energize or insulate powerlines before the commencement of any work task. 2. Conduct a jobsite survey before starting any work to identify any hazards, implement appropriate control measures, and provide subsequent training to employees specific to all identified site hazards. 3. Develop and implement a written safety program designed to enable workers to recognize and avoid hazards, especially electrical hazards.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-properties; Electrical-safety; Electricity; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Lumber-industry-workers; Electrocutions
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-94IN061; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-508672
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Indiana State Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division