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Inside wireman electrician electrocuted working on exterior light pole.

Michigan State University
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 02MI119, 2003 Apr; :1-7
On September 9, 2002 a 41-year-old journeyman electrician was electrocuted while he was working on an exterior light pole (Figure 1). He and his partner were replacing non-functioning lights on two-light light poles. One of the new lights installed did not work. His partner was at the top of the pole in an aerial work basket checking the ballast. The victim was kneeling on damp grass at the base of the light pole so he could open the handhole to inspect the wiring and fuses. He was not wearing or using any protective equipment. The wires were energized and carried 277 volts of electricity. Although exactly what occurred is not known, it is possible that the plastic cover over the fuse inside the pole was broken, and when he reached into the handhole to extract the wires, he made contact with the electricity. It is also possible that he extracted the wires from the handhole, and as he attempted to untwist the plastic cover over a fuse, it broke in his hands. However it happened, he made contact with the electricity. When his partner realized what had happened, he descended immediately and severed the victim's contact with a wooden board. Emergency medical care was given at the site. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. Recommendations: 1. Employers should ensure that a responsible person such as a supervisor/manager periodically monitors workers who are assigned to remote locations. 2. Do not work on energized faulty or damaged equipment. 3. Ensure that appropriate safety equipment is available and that workers use it. 4. Disconnect and lock out electrical lines from their energy source before working on them. 5. Periodically reinforce training of supervisors and workers regarding the hazards associated with specific work assignments and work practices.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-5; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-performance; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Electric-properties; Electrical-conductivity; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-safety; Electrical-systems; Electricity; Electrocutions; Personal-protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Protective-clothing; Protective-equipment
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-02MI119; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-521205
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Michigan State University
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division