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Massachusetts public utility lineman dies of thermal burns when aerial lift hydraulic hoses ruptured and ignited.

Massachusetts Department of Health
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 92MA001, 1993 Jul; :1-4
A 53 year-old electrical lineman died from burns suffered while repairing a damaged utility pole. The victim was in a cherry picker bucket of an articulating line truck (ALT) at the time of the incident. Hydraulic fluid, which flowed through hoses, raised and lowered the bucket. Company and OSHA officials speculated that a massive short-circuit burned through the hoses and ignited hydraulic fluid, engulfing the victim and the bucket in flames. The MA FACE Investigator concluded that to prevent similar occurrences in the future, employers and/or equipment, vehicle and hose manufacturers should: 1. Ensure that all power lines are de-energized, when practical, prior to working in their vicinity. 2. Continue research into the development of non-flammable, non-conductive hydraulic fluids. 3. Research the use of hydraulic hoses constructed of materials that will not fail when exposed to high voltage hazards. 4. Research the development of a lift system that shuts off the flow of hydraulic fluid in the event of a line rupture.
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; Electric-properties; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-safety; Electricity; Fire-hazards; Fire-safety; Electrical-burns; Burns
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-92MA001; 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