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Electrical testing laboratory technician killed after contacting 26,000 volts and falling from a ladder.

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 96NJ042, 1996 Nov; :1-4
On June 18, 1996, a 45-year-old laboratory technician was killed when he contacted 26,000 volts and fell from a rolling ladder while disassembling an experiment. The incident occurred at a cable testing laboratory that tested samples of high-voltage electrical cables. The laboratory had just completed artificially aging several samples of electrical cable by running a current through the cable while it was immersed in water. A technician was instructed to disassemble the experiment so the cables could be examined. Neglecting to first de-energize the experiment, the victim climbed a ten-foot metal rolling ladder to the cables and contacted the live 26,000 volt electrical circuit. The shock immediately threw him from the ladder, causing him to fall and strike his head on the concrete floor. NJ FACE investigators concluded that, to prevent similar incidents in the future, these safety guidelines should be followed: 1. Employees must be throughly trained in the safe handling of electrical circuits. 2. Employers should develop, implement, and enforce an electrical lock-out/ tag-out program. 3. The laboratory should consider redesigning their electrical safety interlock system. 4. 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-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Training; Region-2; Electric-properties; Electrical-conductivity; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-safety; Electricity; Electrocutions; Occupational-health; Occupational-safety-programs; Laboratories; Laboratory-equipment; Laboratory-testing; Laboratory-workers
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-96NJ042; 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