A 42-year-old male journeyman electrician (victim) was fatally injured when he made direct contact with a bare section of an energized 240V electrical conductor in the base of a street light pole. He was not using any electrical personal protective equipment at the time of the incident. He was part of a two-person crew replacing lamp heads on the poles. The victim, working at the base of poles, would remove a fuse to disconnect power to the lamp head, prepare and splice together wires to bypass a ballast located in the base, and reinsert the fuse when work by the other crew member, at the lamp head, was complete. Electrical power from feeder boxes to the base of poles was not shut down during the replacement process so that new lamp heads could be checked for operation immediately after installation. At the time of the incident, work had proceeded to the point where the fuse had been removed and the ballast had been removed from the base of a pole. The victim reached inside the pole to retrieve the now deenergized wire that went to the lamp head to prepare it for splicing. He inadvertently contacted the 240V lead conductor from the feeder box, on the energized side of the fuse, and was electrocuted. Inspection of this conductor showed that approximately two inches of insulation had been gnawed away by rodents. MN FACE investigators concluded that, in order to prevent similar occurrences, the following guidelines should be followed: 1. perform electrical work with electrical power off, if possible; 2. install barriers made of fiberglass or other non-conductive materials where maintenance may be required at fuses which would separate energized and deenergized conductors during such maintenance; 3. wear protective electrical work gloves at all times during work around energized electrical conductors; and 4. thoroughly examine and ensure the integrity of conductor insulation prior to work near them.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Electrical-conductivity; Electrical-equipment; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-industry; Electrical-insulation; Electrical-safety; Electrical-workers; Electricity; Electrocutions