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Drill operator electrocuted after contacting a 7,200 volt overhead power line while raising a drill rig boom.

New Jersey 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 93NJ089, 1994 Apr; :1-5
On October 6, 1993, a 27 year-old male drill rig operator was electrocuted when a radio antenna on top of his drill rig boom contacted a 7,200 volt overhead power line. The incident occurred when the victim and two helpers were preparing to drill a water well in the front yard of a private home. As the victim stood at the controls and raised the boom, the antenna contacted the powerline, energizing the drill rig and electrocuting the victim. NJDOH FACE investigators concluded that, in order to prevent similar incidents in the future, the following safety guidelines should be followed: 1. A minimum clearance of 10 feet must be maintained between equipment and energized power lines. 2. Employers should contact the utility company for assistance and advice when circumstances require operating less than 10 feet from power lines. 3. Drilling equipment should be posted with signs warning of contact with overhead power lines. 4. Employers should develop a clear system of communication between spotters and drill rig operators. 5. Antennas or other unnecessary extensions should not be placed on drill towers.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Training; Region-2; Electric-power-generation; Electric-properties; Electrical-conductivity; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-safety; Electrical-systems; Electricity; Electrocutions; Training; Equipment-operators; Equipment-design
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-93NJ089; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-207088
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
New Jersey Department of Health
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division