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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14521132 - Electric Shock - Ground Fault In High-Pressure Washer

Accident: 14521132 -- Report ID: 0524530 -- Event Date: 06/01/1990
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10328539106/04/19905191Illinois Valley Supply Co.
A GENERAL LABORER, WHOSE NORMAL JOB WAS LOADING AND DRIVING A FARM SUPPLY TRUCK, WAS WASHING THE TRUCK WITH A HIGH PRESSURE PORTABLE WASHER. THE FLEXIBLE CORD THAT WAS AVAILABLE WAS NOT OF SUFFICIENT AMPACITY TO CARRY THE ELECTRICAL LOAD. AS A RESULT, THE EMPLOYEE USED A 200-FOOT LENGTH OF NON-METALLIC-SHEATHED CABLE (TYPE NM-B, INTERIOR USE) THAT HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN USED AT ANOTHER LOCATION. THE EMPLOYEE PLACED A NEW ATTACHMENT PLUG, GIVEN TO HIM BY HIS EMPLOYER, ON THE END OF THE WASHER'S CABLE. WHEN THE EMPLOYEE CONNECTED THE WASHER, POLARITY FOR THE WASHER WAS REVERSED. THE WASHER WAS DESIGNED BY ITS MANUFACTURER TO OPERATE ON 240 VOLTS. HOWEVER, IT HAD BEEN MODIFIED LOCALLY TO OPERATE ON 120 VOLTS. WHEN THE MODIFICATION WAS MADE, THE POWER SUPPLY CORD FOR THE MOTOR WAS MISWIRED SO THAT THE (GREEN) EQUIPMENT GROUNDING CONDUCTOR AND THE (BLACK) UNGROUNDED CIRCUIT CONDUCTOR WERE REVERSED. THE COMBINATION OF THE MISWIRING AND THE REVERSED POLARITY ENERGIZED THE FRAME OF THE WASHER. THE EMPLOYEE, WHO WAS USING THE WASHER IN A WET ENVIRONMENT, WAS ELECTROCUTED.
Keywords: e gi v, electrical, reverse polarity, electrocuted, ground fault, wet operation, equipment grounding, untrained, equipment approval, elec equipment--misc
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 103285391 Fatality Electric Shock Laborers, except construction

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