Electrical injury related to the use of truck-mounted telescoping cranes has occurred when the booms contacted overhead powerlines during routine work operations. Three databases, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) National Traumatic Occupational Fatality (NTOF), Fatal Accident Circumstances and Epidemiology (FACE), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Integrated Management Information System were searched for electrocution deaths which involved truck-mounted telescoping cranes. Data from all three sources available for the years 1984 through 1986 revealed that during these years 37 electrocution fatalities, in 34 separate incidents, occurred. Some of the data sources provided limited details on injury circumstances, so the actual number of such deaths is probably greater. Information on worker activity at the time of death was available for 27 fatalities. In 21 (78%) instances, the worker was operating the boom control at the time of his electrocution. In nine incidents, a hand held controller connected to the truck by a wire was reported to have been used to operate the boom, and the controller became energized when the crane boom contacted an overhead power line. In four other incidents, the victim was operating controls mounted on the truck; in eight incidents the type of control used was not specified. We estimate that the use of fiber-optic, nonconductive linkages for the boom controllers of truck-mounted boom cranes could save at least 10 lives per year among employees of firms which transport or deliver building materials.
Electrical-hazards; Electrical-safety; Electrical-shock; Electricity; Electrocutions; Work-operations; Construction-industry; Construction; Construction-equipment; Traumatic-injuries; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Equipment-operators; Truck-drivers; Engineering-controls