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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14204176 - Electric Shock- Direct Contact With Underground Line

Accident: 14204176 -- Report ID: 1054114 -- Event Date: 12/16/1986
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10522399412/17/19864911Consumers Power Inc
A CREW OF LINEMEN WAS ATTEMPTING TO LOCATE AN ELECTRIC FAULT IN ONE OF SEVERAL UNDERGROUND CABLES WITH A THUMPER (A FAULT LOCATOR). THEY WERE WORKING AT GROUND LEVEL WHERE THE SOURCE TRANSFORMER FED A SPLITTER HOUSED IN A SMALL CONCRETE VAULT LOCATED A FEW FEET IN FRONT OF THE TRANSFORMER. AS THEIR WORK PROGRESSED, IT BECAME EVIDENT THAT THE THUMPER WAS NOT WORKING CORRECTLY. THIS INDICATED THAT THERE WERE SEVERAL POSSIBLE TROUBLE SPOTS THAT WOULD HAVE TO BE TRACKED DOWN SYSTEMATICALLY. IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THE LEAD BETWEEN THE TRANSFORMER AND THE VAULT HAD A FAULT. THE CREW THEN SET UP A JUMPER TO BYPASS THE LEAD. THERE WERE SEVERAL TIES OFF THE SPLITTER, SO THE CREW CALLED TO DETERMINE WHAT THE COLOR CODING WOULD BE INTO THE TRANSFORMER SPLITTER. IT WAS ASSUMED THAT CERTAIN PROCEDURES HAD BEEN FOLLOWED AT THE INITIAL WIRING OF THE VAULT, SO THE LINEMEN PROCEEDED TO HOOK UP THE THUMPER TO A CABLE IN ORDER TO CHECK IT. THE THUMPER DID NOT FUNCTION PROPERLY, SO ONE WORKER WENT TO CHECK THE JUMPER CABLE. HE BELIEVED THE CLAMP TO THE FUSE LINK MIGHT BE LOOSE, SO HE GRABBED THE CABLE IN ORDER TO TIGHTEN IT. AS A RESULT, HE RECEIVED A 7200-VOLT ELECTRIC SHOCK, WHICH KNOCKED HIM TO THE GROUND. HE RETAINED CONSCIOUSNESS, BUT RECEIVED ELECTRICAL BURNS ON HIS HANDS AND SUFFERED A MILD CASE OF SHOCK. HE HAD NOT BEEN WEARING RUBBER GLOVES AS REQUIRED WITH USE OF THE THUMPER, NOR HAD ANYONE CHECKED THE TEMPORARY CABLE JUMBER TO SEE IF IT WAS ENERGIZED AFTER THE THUMPER WAS SHUT OFF. ADDITIONALLY, THE COLOR CODING OF THE VAULT TIES WAS NOT CONSISTENT WITH THAT FOR THE TIES OF THE TRANSFORMER, WHICH MEANT THEY WERE WORKING WITH A DIFFERENT TIE THAN THEY BELIEVED.
Keywords: electrical, power line worker, electric cable, test equipment, e ptd, undrgrd installation, elec utility work, electric shock, undrgrd power line
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 105223994 Hospitalized injury Electric Shock Electrical and electronic technicians

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