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Maintenance electrician dies from burns received when electrical panel is shorted.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
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 92CO039, 1992 Dec; :1-2
A 38-year old employee of a process equipment manufacturer was severely burned while attempting to test an electrical power circuit. On the day of the incident the maintenance electrician was asked by a co-worker to determine why an 85 horsepower electric motor was not functioning. The deceased used a multi-meter rated at 600 volts to check out the power supply source to the motor. The motor was connected to the electrical circuit inside a 14,400 volt, 600 amp metal electrical switch box. When he attempted to check the fuse on this circuit an electrical arc ionized the air in the cabinet and a flash fire occurred. The injured worker was burned over 50% of his body and died 18 days later. The Colorado Department of Health (CDH) investigator concluded that to prevent future similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Ensure that high voltage electrical circuits are properly labeled. 2. Ensure that only qualified personnel are authorized to work on high voltage circuits. 3. Conduct a job-site survey on a regular basis to identify potential hazards, implement appropriate control measures, and provide subsequent training to employees that specifically addresses all identified hazards.
Region-8; 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; Personal-protection; Training; Electric-properties; Electrical-burns; Electrical-equipment; Electrical-fields; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-industry; Electrical-measurement-devices; Electrical-properties; Electrical-safety; Electrical-transmission; Electrical-workers; Electricity; Warning-signs
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-92CO039; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-808518
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division