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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170123129 - Burn - Electric Arc Resulting From Use Of Underrated Equip

Accident: 170123129 -- Report ID: 0454712 -- Event Date: 03/20/1994
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12049402603/29/19943714Teksid Aluminum Foundry Inc
An employee of an aluminum foundry was changing an in-line fuse between a phase conductor and a capacitor. The phase-to-ground voltage on the conductor was 7.2 kilovolts, and the phase-to-phase voltage was 12.4 kilovolts. According to witnesses, the employee was apparently trying to test the voltage stored within the capacitor with a Triplett 20-kilovolt DC, 5-kilovolt AC meter. (A coworker and an employee of the local utility, who were within 1.2 meters of the employee and who were observing the work being performed, witnessed the accident.) When the employee brought the leads of the meter into contact with an energized conductor, an electric arc occurred, burning the employee. He received multiple burns to his upper torso and to his head. The two witnesses were not injured. The injured employee was hospitalized and died about 1 week later from a blood clot. Facts obtained during the investigation indicate that the meter being used by the employee was not appropriate for the voltage being measured. It was speculated that the employee unintentionally contacted the energized phase conductor. The meter, which was only rated up to 5-kilovolts AC, was set for 1 kilovolt AC. The employee was well trained and should have been able to determine the voltage involved. Therefore, it was concluded that the employee had intended to contact the presumably deenergized capacitor, to determine the stored voltage, instead of the energized phase conductor.
Keywords: burn, clothing, electric arc, electrical, power line worker, electrical testing, capacitor, test equipment, e ptd, elec utility work
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 120494026 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Electrical power installers and repairers

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