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Sign company owner and helper electrocuted when a sign post contacts 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 98NJ025, 1998 Aug; :1-8
On March 24, 1998, the 41-year-old owner of a sign company and his 60-year-old helper were electrocuted when the sign post they were raising struck a 7,200 volt overhead power line. The company was hired to raise a sign at a gas station that was being renovated. Setting their truck-mounted crane near the corner of the lot, the owner stood on the truck to operate the crane controls. His helper (who was not employed by the company) was on the ground to guide the sign post over a concrete pad. As the owner extended the crane boom, the pole struck a 7,200 volt overhead power line, electrocuting the helper. The owner saw his friend fall and jumped from the truck to help him. He was electrocuted when he contacted the energized truck while on the ground. The NJDHSS FACE program recommends following these safety guidelines to prevent similar incidents: 1. A minimum clearance of 10 feet must be maintained between equipment and power lines to prevent inadvertent contact. 2. Employers should conduct a job hazard analysis of all work activities with the participation of the workers. 3. Cranes should be posted with signs warning of contact with overhead power lines. 4. Employers should become familiar with available resources on safety standards and safe work practices.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-2; Work-practices; Electric-properties; Electrical-conductivity; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-safety; Electrical-systems; Electricity; Electrocutions; Work-analysis; Work-operations; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-safety-programs; Safety-programs
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-98NJ025; 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