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Employee electrocuted while dismantling a metal edged box resting on a flexible electrical cord.

Massachusetts Department of Health
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 91MA007, 1991 Jul; :1-3
A 24 year old white male wind-up operator was electrocuted when the metal edge of a box he was dismantling severed the insulation on a flexible electrical cord. The box had apparently fallen off the fork lift and was propped on edge by the fork lift which was not operation at the time of the incident. He was breaking off bolts with a hammer and chisel; the weight of the box and the force of the blows exposed the energized electrical wire. The company electrician measured 277 volts and .1 amps subsequent to the fatality. The employee had been breaking apart these metal framed wooden boxes because they were no longer needed by the company. He had been working for 11 hours and forty-five minutes when this fatality occurred. Massachusetts Department of Labor and Industries investigators concluded that, in order to prevent future similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Refrain from using flexible electrical cords as a substitute for fixed wiring. 2. Refrain from using flexible electrical cords where they may be subjected to damage. 3. Ensure that established safety procedures are followed at all times. 4. Discourage the practice of 12 hour work days to avoid employee fatigue. 5. Ensure that the company safety program is comprehensive and includes identification of common electrical hazards.
Region-1; 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; Fatigue; Electric-properties; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-safety; 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-91MA007; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-108704
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Massachusetts Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division