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Laborer electrocuted when antenna on top of steel pole building contacts 14400-volt energized line.

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 02MI208, 2003 Dec; :1-10
On December 5, 2002, a 48-year-old male laborer was electrocuted when a county road commission steel pole-building antenna contacted an energized 14,400-volt overhead power line while the building was being relocated via a state highway. An electric company lineman, a cable company employee, road commission employees and a police escort were on site. The building was positioned on three dollies, two steer dollies at the "rear" of the building and one dolly at the "front" of the building that hooked to the tow vehicle. The lineman dropped the neutral wire from the pole and left the 14,400-volt electrical lines energized. The lineman was present in an aerial bucket positioned on the road shoulder to observe building clearance while the building was being moved. Approximately 75 feet of the building had proceeded under the lines when two employees assigned to the "rear" steer dollies went under the building and began to ratchet each dolly chain to steer the rear of the building onto the road. (See Figure 1). Near the front of the building a "bolt of lightening" was observed as the building antenna contacted the line. The two employees at the "rear" steer dollies received electrical shocks and fell to the ground. Bystander CPR was initiated and emergency response was called. One of the workers was taken to the hospital and survived, the other worker was pronounced dead at the scene. Recommendations: 1. Employers should verify that a minimum of 10 feet is maintained by employees when working near an energized electrical line, gear or equipment exposed to contact with an energized overhead power line. 2. Develop a building assessment standard operating procedure that includes roof protrusions regardless of building height as part of a company specific Accident Prevention Plan that is in compliance with MIOSHA requirements. 3. Stress and routinely review the hazards regarding overhead power lines so that all employees are cognizant of these energized sources. 4. Select personal protective equipment and other equipment insulating materials to provide operator protection from inadvertent contact with electricity. 5. Companies should not use skip boards to raise electrical or other overhead lines. 6. Additionally, MIFACE recommends that electric utility companies review their policy for communicating with individuals prior to work that will be performed within the vicinity of an energized overhead power line and the documentation procedures of this communication.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-5; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-performance; Electric-properties; Electrical-equipment; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-industry; Electrical-properties; Electrical-safety; Electrical-shock; Electrical-systems; Electrical-workers; Electricity; Electrocutions; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Transportation-industry; Transportation-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-02MI208; 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