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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170358790 - Burn - Electrical Fault In Meter

Accident: 170358790 -- Report ID: 0950635 -- Event Date: 06/16/1994
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12012925907/21/19941731Instrument Specialists Co
An electrician (employee #2) and his helper (employee #1), who were employed by an electrical contractor, were troubleshooting a motor starter in a refinery. The helper had worked on the site for 15 months and had taken classes in basic electricity and in MCC basics. Both employees were wearing standard refinery gear: hard hats, safety glasses, Nomex coveralls, and work boots. The 480-volt Nelson Electric starter (Catalog No. 7FAAE4YYC, class 420, Form F1KX9) on which they were working controlled a 100-horsepower motor that would not start. The starter was in a NEMA 7, Class 1, Group 0 enclosure. The primary leads for the control circuit transformer were connected to two of the phase conductors for the motor circuit just above the contactor. The employees were going to test the primary fuse for the control circuit. To check for primary voltage on the control circuit transformer, the helper had set up a Metex Multimeter (Series M4650) with one lead on one of the two phase conductors supplying the transformer just above the contactor. The electrician was standing behind him. When the helper placed the other lead on the second phase conductor, an electrical fault occurred. The ensuing electric arc burned both employees. The electrician sustained second degree burns on both hands and first and second degree burns on his face and lips. The helper sustained third degree burns on his forearms, on one of his wrists, and on his abdomen and second degree burns on his face. The employees were hospitalized for their injuries. Laboratory analysis of the meter revealed that one of the leads had been improperly inserted into the multimeter. The leads should have been inserted into the common and volt/ohm terminals. Instead, they were placed into the common and 2-ampere fused terminals. An arc had developed between the 2-ampere terminal and a shunt that passed between the 20-ampere terminal and the common terminal.
Keywords: burn, clothing, electric arc, e gi iii, electrical, electrician, electrical work, test equipment, electrical fault
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 120129259 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Electricians' apprentices
2 120129259 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Electricians

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