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Tree trimmer electrocuted after contacting an overhead power line.

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 96NJ010, 1996 Aug; :1-6
On February 28, 1996, a 25-year-old tree trimmer was electrocuted when he contacted a 7,600 volt overhead power line while clearing a loose branch from a tree. The incident occurred at a private home where the company had just finished removing a tree from the back yard. The crew had completed the job and was beginning to clean the site when they noticed a loose branch hanging from a neighbor's tree. Using a climbing harness, the victim tied onto the ball of a crane line and was raised up to the hanging branch, which he cut down. As he was being lowered to the ground, the victim noticed a second loose branch hanging on another tree. The victim had started to swing toward the branch while on the crane line when he contacted a primary power line and was electrocuted. NJ FACE investigators concluded that, in order to prevent similar incidents in the future, these safety guidelines should be followed: 1. Employers should ensure that a minimum clearance of 10 feet is maintained between cranes and energized power lines. 2. Employers should ensure that crane operators are properly trained before using the machinery. 3. Employers and employees should read and follow the recommendations in the attached NIOSH Alert: Preventing Electrocutions of Crane Operators and Crew Members Working Near Overhead Power Lines. 4. Employers should conduct a job hazard analysis to identify and correct potential hazards prior to starting work. 5. Employers and employees should be aware of the dangers of drugs and other substances that may impair judgement or alertness. 6. Employers should be aware of educational and training resources for health and safety information.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Training; Region-2; Electric-properties; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-safety; Electricity; Electrocutions; Substance-abuse; Health-hazards; Health-programs; Work-analysis; Work-environment
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-96NJ010; 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: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division