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Assistant machine operator was electrocuted when he handled a compressed air nozzle and screw driver near or in a power cord carrying 480 volts.

Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services
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 92WI075, 1993 Feb; :1-3
A 21 year old white male machine operator was electrocuted. When he was last seen, he was using compressed air near an energized 440 volt Hubbell aluminum cast plug. The machine the worker had been working on, a hoist, had stopped functioning earlier in the day. At that time the supervisor was seen using compressed air to blow on the female end of the energized power cord plug. The machine was then re-attached to the power cord and functioned. Later when the machine stopped running a second time, the machine operator was seen by the power cord plug using compressed air. Moments later he was seen on the floor. It is not certain exactly how the worker made contact with the energy source (some witnesses indicate there was a screw driver involved, others say it may have been the nozzle of the compressed air hose that the worker was holding that may have touched the power source). Co-workers called the police and rescue squad and when the police arrived 2 man CPR was begun. When the rescue squad arrived they took over and continued CPR and transported the victim to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead 1 hour following the incident. The Wisconsin FACE investigator concluded that, in order to prevent similar occurrences, the employer should: 1. Conduct a job-site survey to identify potential hazards before beginning any job. Remove from service defective equipment. Lock out and tagout defective equipment according to OSHA lock out tagout requirements. Consider using power plugs with non-conductive housing. 2. Develop, implement and enforce a comprehensive written safety program that includes a policy on electrical safety. 3. Train workers to recognize safety hazards in their workplace that pertain to their job assignments, and in this instance, specifically electrical hazard recognition.
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; Training; Electric-properties; Electrical-conductivity; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-safety; Electricity; Machine-operators
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-92WI075; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-507081
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division