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Foreman on electrical line crew is electrocuted when an energized line contacts a guy wire.

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 94CO003, 1994 Jul; :1-2
On January 25, 1994 a 38-year old employee of a electrical contractor was electrocuted when an energized jumper wire contacted a guy wire onto which the deceased was holding. The deceased was a foreman of the line crew that was replacing electrical poles and rerouting electrical lines for a local rural electric association. When the incident occurred, the crew was disconnecting power lines from an old pole to allow pole replacement. The deceased had used a climbing belt and boot hooks to climb the pole; he had assisted a co-worker who was positioned in a truck-mounted insulated bucket on the opposite side of the pole. The deceased had accomplished the task for which he had ascended the pole, and was resting prior to his descent. The pole was supported in place by two guy wires, one attached approximately four inches above the other, both wrapped around the pole on metal bands and then secured in place with metal brackets. The workers were disconnecting the remaining two segments of a single-phase 7200-volt line that joined at the pole and were connected with a "jumper wire" (an uninsulated energized wire that allows the electricity to bypass the gap in the two line segments where they attach to the pole). A "hot hoist" (a hand-operated winch and nylon strap with end clamps that are attached to each line approximately two feet away from the pole) had been installed to pull the lines toward the pole, thus releasing tension on the sections of line at the point of connection to the pole. This allows the crew to disconnect the ends of the line from the pole. When the injury occurred, one end of the line had been disconnected. This created slack in the jumper wire. From contact marks on the jumper wire and the guy wire hooks it appeared that the jumper wire contacted the guy wire bracket. The deceased was holding onto the two guy wires and provided the path for the flow of electricity between guy wires and the ground. The Colorado Department of Health (CDH) investigator concluded that to prevent future similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Ensure that high voltage electrical conductors are properly guarded when being handled. 2. Ensure that employees understand that only personnel required to perform a specific task are authorized to be in that work area.
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; Electric-properties; Electrical-conductivity; Electrical-equipment; Electrical-fields; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-industry; Electrical-resistance; Electrical-safety; Electrical-workers; 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-94CO003; 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