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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200535177 - Worker Is Electrocuted While Working On Bin Sweep Auger

Accident: 200535177 -- Report ID: 0751910 -- Event Date: 07/09/2012
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31661261307/10/20125191Consumers Cooperative Society
On July 9, 2012, Employee #1, an 18-year-old male with Consumers Cooperative Society, had been cleaning out a grain bin with a worker at a Frytown location. In the morning, Employee #1 and a coworker completed the assembly of the sweep auger, then stopped and went to lunch. After lunch, Employee #1 returned to grain bin to work. Employee #1 had been working on platform outside hatch door on side of bin. Platform was approximately 11. 4-feet above the ground. Employee #1 used a fiberglass extension ladder to reach bin mounted ladder to access work platform. Ladder was still in proper position when the coworker found Employee #1 on the ground and unresponsive. Concern was raised about stray voltage or energized metal in the incident area. A qualified electrician was contacted and responded to the scene. Employee #1 had plugged in a remote control switch box to run the sweep auger motor. The wiring for the remote control switch box was through a portable relay panel box that had been dropped into the bin. The relay panel box contained a relay and had three cables running from it. One cable was a plug that went to a receptacle on the exterior of the bin above the hatch door to provide power. There were two other cables coming from the relay panel box, one to the remote control switch box and one with a female connector for sweep auger motor to plug in to. All wiring for the relay panel box and attached items were reviewed by a qualified electrician. The plug to the exterior receptacle was a 20A 120/208 volt 3-phase-Y and the receptacle was rated for 20A 250V/10A 600 volt. The wiring to the receptacle was 480 volt. The plug had a ground prong which was supposed to have an offset tang which was supposed to prevent improper insertion in the receptacle. The ground prong and the tang on the plug were even allowing insertion of the ground in any position. The plug was observed to have been inserted 90 degrees turn from correct. The ground was inserted into a live wired slot creating an energized connection at the remote control switch box. The remote control switch box had a metal collar and metal reducer fitting on the top exterior of the remote control switch box that registered 280 volt. The reducer fitting touched the grounding collar which was in contact with the ground screw/plat on the inside of the remote control switch box. The metal reducer fitting was a plumbing fitting, not an electrical fitting, no UL rating on the fitting. Approximately forty minutes after returning from lunch, around 1:00 p.m. the coworker went out to check on Employee #1. Employee #1 was found unresponsive, laying face up with his back flat on the ground in the vicinity of the grain bin. The coworker summoned Emergency Medical Services, returned to building for help and to find an AED. The coworker sent another coworker out to stay with Employee #1 and start chest compressions. Four trained coworkers responded with the AED while one coworker remained on the phone with 911. Dispatch notified and dispatched first responders, ambulance and sheriff's office to scene. The coworkers performed CPR, connected AED and followed AED directions. Upon arrival of First Responders and Ambulance they assumed CPR and care for Employee #1. Sheriff's Deputy arrived on scene. Employee #1 was transported to hospital. Employee #1 was declared deceased at the hospital. Employee #1 presented with electric burns on hand and thoracic injuries either of which could be fatal. Employee #1 was delivered to county medical examiner for autopsy and to determine cause of death. The Medical Examiner report stated cause of death as blunt force injuries of the chest after electrocution. All wiring in the receptacle, the plug and the panel box were checked for burns or scorching, none was observed.
Keywords: burn, screw conveyor, agriculture, grain, electrocuted, electric shock, grain bin, silo
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 316612613 Fatality Electric Shock Occupation not reported

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