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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200052660 - Employee Shocked By Extension Cord While Reversing Polarity

Accident: 200052660 -- Report ID: 0728900 -- Event Date: 01/12/2006
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30868015601/17/20061771Northwest Concrete Cutters
On January 12, 2006, Employee #1 and a coworker were cutting the concrete in an existing structure in preparation for installing additional plumbing as part of a renovation project. The workers were using a 480-volt AC concrete saw powered by a truck-mounted generator. Employee #1 was alone, setting up the equipment, while his supervisor discussed the cuts to be made and their locations with the general contractor. While testing the saw, Employee #1 realized that the polarity was reversed and he decided to correct this by changing the cord. He disconnected the saw cord from the extension cord running to the generator. Employee #1 was supposed to re-wire the de-energized side of the cord, the saw cord, but began to disassemble the generator side of the cord while the generator was running. As he was working, he contacted a 277-volt single phase of the three-phase cord and sustained third-degree burns to the middle fingers on both hands. Employee #1 was transported to the hospital, where he was admitted for treatment. Subsequent investigation found that the previous job had involved an incorrectly wired 480-volt power source; this was a common occurrence at some of the construction sites where Employee #1 had performed concrete-cutting operations, and it was easier to reverse the wires in the cord than to wait for the electrician to arrive and correct the polarity issues within the circuit. At this site, they were using the company-owned generator, which was correctly wired.
Keywords: burn, electrical, finger, work rules, cord set, construction, elec circ part--misc, electric shock, electric cord
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Commercial building Alteration or rehabilitation $50,000 to $250,000 1 30
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 308680156 Hospitalized injury Electric Shock Occupation not reported FallDist:
Cause: Cutting concrete pavement
FatCause: Electric shock, other and unknown cause

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