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Farm worker electrocuted when aluminum grain tube contacts overhead power line.

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 94WI305, 1995 Jan; :1-4
A 31 year-old male farm worker (the victim) was electrocuted when an aluminum pneumatic grain tube contacted an overhead power line and provided a path for the electric current to the ground where the victim was standing. The victim and the farm owner (the farmer) were attempting to remove a small animal from a 27-foot aluminum pneumatic grain tube that was lying on the ground. The farmer raised one end of the tube while the victim stood near the bottom end of the tube and held a wood-handled pitchfork. There was no indication that the victim was in direct contact with the tube. The elevated end of the tube contacted a 7600 volt overhead power line that extended from the road to the transformer on the power pole. The farmer collapsed and released the tube, which then slid along the power line until it fell to the ground. The farmer remained conscious during the incident, but was stunned and unable to get up for a short time. He saw the victim lying motionless on the ground, and went to provide assistance. He dragged the victim a short distance away, and began to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). After several CPR cycles, he went to a mobile phone and called 911, then resumed CPR. The EMS crew arrived within 8 minutes and took over CPR, and transported the victim to the hospital, where he died. The Wisconsin FACE investigator concluded that, to prevent similar occurrences, farmers should: 1. Arrange for underground placement of power lines that are located where equipment could contact energized lines. 2. Develop and implement a formal safety program that emphasizes the importance of recognizing and avoiding hazards on farms. These programs should include, but not be limited to, conducting a survey of the farm yard and equipment to identify and remove hazards. 3. Ensure that workers adhere to established safe work procedures and maintain the minimum working distances from energized conductors as described in OSHA standards within the OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.333 (c) (3) (i). 4. Maintain current training in emergency medical procedures such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
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; Safety-programs; Farmers; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Electric-properties; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-properties; Electrical-safety; Electrical-transmission; Electricity; Electrocutions
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-94WI305; 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