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Preventing worker deaths and injuries from contacting overhead power lines with metal ladders.

Romano N
NOIRS 2008-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium, October 21-23, 2008, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Morgantown, WV: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2008 Oct; :P05
Introduction: A NIOSH review of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) data from 1992-2005 identified at least 154 electrocution deaths that resulted from contacting overhead power lines with portable metal ladders (excluding truck-mounted and aerial ladders). Of these 154 deaths, 36 involved a person of Hispanic origin (CFOI data for all years exclude New York City; the data for 2005 are preliminary). Methods: The NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program identifies and studies fatal occupational injuries, with the goal of identifying effective prevention measures. Through on-site fatality investigations, FACE personnel collect agent, host, and environmental information from the pre-event, event, and post-event phases of the fatal incident. Results: A review of NIOSH FACE cases between 1987 and 2007 identified 11 investigations involving the deaths of 12 workers that occurred while working around overhead power lines and using metal ladders. Ladder contacts with power lines usually occurred during erection, lowering, or relocation of the ladder. Some examples of preventive recommendations from these investigations are: (1) employers eliminating use of conductive ladders, (2) employers developing a comprehensive safety and training program in language(s) and reading levels of the workers, (3) manufacturers affixing bilingual labels with graphics to provide hazard warnings and instructions. Conclusions: Evidence collected during FACE investigations suggests that the victims may not have been fully aware of the hazards to which they were exposed, and that employers did not have adequate safety programs and training to address this hazard. In order to lower fatality rates, workers must be informed of the potential hazards present and should receive training to perform their tasks in the safest possible manner.
Accident-prevention; Accidents; Control-technology; Electrical-fields; Electrical-hazards; Electrical-industry; Electrical-measurement-devices; Electrical-properties; Electrical-safety; Electrical-workers; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Electric-properties; Electrocutions; Environmental-exposure; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Exposure-methods; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Ladders; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-safety-programs; Personal-protective-equipment; Power-generation; Risk-factors; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-programs; Statistical-analysis; Training; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-environment; Work-operations; Work-practices; Workplace-monitoring; Workplace-studies; Surveillance
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NOIRS 2008-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium, October 21-23, 2008, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division