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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200651628 - Employee Is Electrocuted On Transmission Tower

Accident: 200651628 -- Report ID: 0521100 -- Event Date: 09/19/2009
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31255352209/22/20091623M J Electric, Llc
On September 19, 2009, several crews from MJ Electric were nearing completion of a new section of transmission line, which was to replace an existing energized section. Power was to be switched over to the new section about noon. At about 10:30 a.m., Employee #1, an MJ line crew foreman who was to be in charge of dropping the line for the existing section, received direction on the afternoon's project from the project superintendent. The power switch-over was discussed at this meeting as well as the day prior. They returned to the location where Employee #1's crew was still working on the new installation. They worked here for a while before Employee #1 told crew members that he was going out to look at the lines and possibly do some administrative work. Shortly after that, an outage on the existing line section was reported by the power company to MJ's general foreman, who reported this to the superintendent. They both checked their site preparation crew members because it was clear to the line crew that they were not to be working on the live existing lines until given authorization from the General Foreman, who would first receive clearance from the power company and certify that the circuit was deenergized. After accounting for crews they thought were in the vicinity of the live lines, the general foreman and the superintendent directed the power company to restore power to the existing lines. Very shortly after this, an ATV rider discovered Employee #1 burning in a transmission tower approximately 45 ft above the ground. The rider used Employee #1's radio to notify the company of his discovery. The general foreman directed the power company to shut down the power and summoned emergency responders. Numerous MJ crews and personnel traveled to the scene to assist. Two of the first linemen to arrive found Employee #1 belted to a leg of the tower just below the lowest supporting arm of the power lines, trying to release his belt. The two linemen climbed the tower without direction and assisted Employee #1 to the ground. He was still conscious, but his body and clothing were badly burned. Employee #1 was transported to a local hospital, and then airlifted to a regional burn center, where he died three days later. It is unknown why he was on the tower and why he was there alone. Employee #1 was wearing a hard hat, leather work gloves, fire resistant tee shirt, safety glasses, safety boots, and a positioning belt. He had a screwdriver but no hot stick or voltage detector.
Keywords: burn, ppe, electrician, lockout, lanyard, electric shock, fall protection, tower, transmission tower
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Powerline, transmission line Alteration or rehabilitation $5,000,000 to $20,000,000 75 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 312553522 Fatality Electric Shock Supervisors; electricians & power transm. install. FallDist:
Cause: Demolition
FatCause: Electrocution by touching exposed wire/source

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