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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14217772 - Electric Shock - Direct Contact With Downed Overhead Line

Accident: 14217772 -- Report ID: 0150900 -- Event Date: 07/23/1991
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10380250007/26/19919221Town Of New Canaan Police Department
A series of thunderstorms struck an area, and a police officer was dispatched to investigate a report of downed trees and a downed overhead power line. There was a possibility that people were trapped. There were high winds, lightning, and heavy rain at the time. Visibility was poor because of the weather and because of smoke from fires caused by a downed power line. Sixteen minutes after he had been dispatched, the police officer was found by another officer. The first officer was lying on the road with his feet in contact with an 8000-volt overhead power line that had been knocked down by tree limbs. Fellow police officers administered cardio-pulmonary resuscitation to the injured employee until emergency medical services arrived. He was transported to a burn center, where he died of his injuries at 9:00 PM the next day. The police department investigated the accident, reviewing evidence from photographs and a video tape, and shared their information and findings with the state OSHA staff. The investigation revealed that the officer arrived north of the tree and overhead power line, blocked the adjacent intersection with his car, and walked across a yard to the location where he was found (about 200 to 300 feet south of his car and about 50 to 70 feet south of the trees across the road). The overhead power line ran east along the road and crossed to the west side where the tree fell. The employee was found with road flares, indicating that he was probably securing the scene to protect the public. The officer had been on the force since March 28, 1988. He had attended the municipal police academy, where electrical safety is part of the training. (He was also a volunteer firefighter.) He had frequently warned fellow officers about the dangers of downed power lines.
Keywords: storm, e gi iii, overhead power line, electrical, electrocuted, tree, poor visibility
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 103802500 Fatality Electric Shock Police and detectives, public service

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