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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170667364 - Two Employees Electrocuted By Contact With Power Line

Accident: 170667364 -- Report ID: 0111500 -- Event Date: 10/02/2002
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12329245010/02/20021741Milestone Restoration, Inc.

At 7:00 a.m. on October 2, 2002, Employees #1 and #2 arrived at the employer's facility in New Haven, CT, met with the company owner, and took a company work truck to return to the site of a job they were completing, to remove all the tools and to power wash the front of the building. Once there, they were working at the northeast corner of the building, Employee #1 in the aerial lift basket, Employee #2 on the ground. At approximately 12:30 p.m. to 12:45 p.m., workers at the building observed the two employees working on the front of the building, but closer toward the northeast corner, with the aerial lift at approximately the second-story level. A short time later, another worker leaving for lunch saw Employee #1 in the lift basket with his hand draped over the railing; when she returned from lunch at approximately 2:00 p.m., she saw him in the same position, leaning up against the side of the lift with his right hand hanging over the edge. At 4:00 p.m., one of the workers in the building who was leaving for the day, saw the aerial lift basket about halfway up the height of the building, but did not notice the employees. She got to her car, realized she had forgotten something, and returned to the building. She noticed that the lift basket was approximately three-quarters of the way up the building, and that the power washer was still running and had a large pool of water around it. At 4:30 p.m., two building workers returned from a late lunch and noticed Employee #1 was in the same position as when they had left, 20 minutes earlier. When they looked out through the window, they saw him maintaining the same crouching position in the lift basket and called 911. The Meriden, CT, Fire Department responded, and a captain, a lieutenant, and six firefighters arrived in two separate engines at 4:38 p.m. They found Employees #1 and #2 lying in opposite corners of the elevated lift basket, with the power washer and aerial lift still running. The top of the aerial lift was 2 ft to 3 ft directly below overhead high power lines. The lieutenant later stated that if the employees were standing up in the basket they could have contacted the power line. The firefighters ensured that basket was not in contact with the power line and lowered it. By the time the basket was down, Hunters Ambulance had arrived. Firefighters removed Employees #1 and #2 and placed them on the ground. Employee #2 had significant rigor mortis and resuscitation was not performed. Employee #2 was evaluated by the paramedics, who made the determination not to resuscitate. Firefighters placed sheets over the bodies of both workers. Neither employee was wearing a full body harness or body belt when removed from the aerial lift basket. There was no water on the ground underneath the aerial lift or in the basket of the lift when it was brought down, and neither man's clothing was wet. After the scene was measured and inspected, a local funeral removed the Employees #1 and #2. The aerial lift was taken into custody by the Meriden Police Department at OSHAs request. The lift was moved and transported by the Meriden Police Department using a Department of Public Works flat low-boy bed trailer and taken to the Police Departments impound yard. The aerial lift stayed in the impound yard until it was inspected on October 9, 2002.

Keywords: clearance, overhead power line, work rules, cleaning, electrocuted, struck against, construction, spraying rig, aerial lift
Accident Details
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Commercial building Maintenance or repair Under $50,000 2 27 X

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 123292450 Fatality Electric Shock Supervisors; brickmasons, stonemasons, tilesetters FallDist:
Cause: Exterior masonry
FatCause: Electrocution by touching exposed wire/source
2 123292450 Fatality Electric Shock Brickmasons and stonemasons FallDist:
Cause: Exterior masonry
FatCause: Electrocution by touching exposed wire/source

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