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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200631422 - Employee Is Electrocuted While Testing Voltage

Accident: 200631422 -- Report ID: 0316400 -- Event Date: 10/04/2006
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30946939310/04/20066512Americo, Inc.
On October 4, 2006, Employee #1, a 63-year-old male electrician who was purported to have many years of experience with heavy industry electrical systems, was trying to test the voltage of the three-phase electrical service of a commercial building. Employee #1 was testing by touching the test leads of a meter to the top or "hot" contact of a series of knife switches that disconnected power to the rest of the building. A helper with no electrical training or experience was standing in close proximity, holding a digital multi-meter so that the Employee #1 could see the display. The meter was rated by the manufacturer as Category III, 1,000 volts. According to the helper, Employee #1 had repeatedly tried to test from one leg of the three-phase service to the ground leg. Each time the meter displayed "OL" or overload, the electrician withdrew one or both of the test probes, punched the "range" button on the meter, and then retested. Ultimately, Employee #1 removed one of the electrical protective gloves he was wearing. He again punched the range button on the meter and recontacted the test leads. After an arc and loud pop, the meter was blown out of the helper's hand. Employee #1 began to "sling his forearm like it was asleep or like he hit his crazy bone." He staggered to a wall and slid down to the floor. The helper summoned local emergency services. Employee #1 was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. According to the power company, American Electric Power Co., each phase of the service was 2,400 volts to ground.
Keywords: elec protect equip, electric arc, ppe, electrical testing, electrician, electrocuted, electric meter, electric shock, electrical fault
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 309469393 Fatality Electric Shock Electricians

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