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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200350601 - Electric Shock & Fall - Contact With Overhead Line Thru Boom

Accident: 200350601 -- Report ID: 0453710 -- Event Date: 12/18/1997
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30196626312/18/19971623J. F. Wilkerson Contracting Co., Inc.
A work crew was installing a 406-millimeter-inside-diameter water line into a 2.7-meter-deep trench. Where the employees were working, the trench was located about 12.2 meters from the shoulder of a road, across from a substation. The centerline of the trench was 2.4 meters laterally from a 23-kilovolt overhead power line. The employees had dug the trench and placed the spoil on the road side of the trench. The pipe sections were lying between the spoil and the road. The employees were using a Caterpillar 330L excavator to lift the pipe sections, attaching the pipe to the bucket of the excavator with a wire rope choker. The operator used the excavator to lift sections of pipe over the spoil to the field side of the trench, where laborers on the crew guided them by hand into the trench. The operator assigned one of the laborers to watch the overhead lines so that could maintain a 0.9- to 1.2-meter clearance. During one of the lifts, the knuckle portion of the boom on the excavator contacted the power line as the operator swung a section of pipe over the trench. One of the laborers (Employee #2) was standing on the field side of the trench between the pipe and the edge of the excavation. The pipe apparently touched employee #2's left shoulder (in the front, at the joint). (He also had an exit wound on his left heel.) The electric shock threw employee #2 into the trench, and he hit his head hit on the end of a pipe in the bottom of the trench. He suffered a fractured skull. Another laborer (Employee #1) was standing at the other end of the pipe, holding onto it with his hands, with the pipe positioned between him and the edge of the trench. He also suffered an electric shock and was knocked to the ground. Employee #2 was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. Employee #1 was transported to a burn center and was placed on life support. About a week after the accident, his family arrived from Mexico and gave permission to remove the employee from life support, and he died.
Keywords: excavation, head, overhead power line, electrical, boom, electrocuted, e c, excavator, fall
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Excavation, landfill New project or new addition $500,000 to $1,000,000 9 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 301966263 Fatality Electric Shock Construction laborers FallDist:
Cause: Trenching, installing pipe
FatCause: Electrocution by equipment contacting wire
2 301966263 Fatality Electric Shock Construction laborers FallDist:
Cause: Trenching, installing pipe
FatCause: Electrocution by equipment contacting wire

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