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Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200770816 - Burn - Electrical Fault In Circuit Breaker

Accident: 200770816 -- Report ID: 0134000 -- Event Date: 01/03/2001
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11354707901/03/20014911Massachusetts Electric
Four electric utility employees were servicing a circuit breaker in a substation. The senior member of the crew was instructing two of the employees in performing routine service on a circuit breaker. The fourth employee was assisting. Before performing the service, the lead worker called the dispatch office for permission to deenergize circuit breaker #6P3. The dispatcher provided him with the procedural steps for deenergizing the circuit breaker and permission to perform the service. With circuit breaker #6P3 deenergized and grounded, the lead worker and the two employees he was instructing began working on circuit breaker #6C3, which was still energized at 4160 volts. The fourth employee left the building to retrieve tools from his truck. On his return to the building through the front door, he heard an electric arc resulting from his colleagues' contact with energized parts of circuit breaker #6C3. A fire accompanied the electric arc and engulfed the three employees who had been working on the circuit breaker. With the entrance blocked by flames, the fourth employee returned to his vehicle and radioed for help. He grabbed a fire extinguisher and went back toward the building. One of the three employees inside exited the building with her clothes on fire. The fourth employee smothered the flames on her clothing with his sweater. The lead worker exited through the rear door, and the last employee exited through the front door. The clothing of both of these employees was also burning. Passersby assisted in extinguishing the employees' burning clothing. Emergency medical service personnel arrived and transported the three injured employees to a hospital for treatment. The lead worker died of his injuries. (The other two injured employees were not listed on injury lines on the original form.)
Keywords: burn, clothing, electric arc, electrical, electrician, electrical work, lockout, e ptd, elec utility work, electrical fault
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 113547079 Fatality Burn/Scald(Heat) Electricians

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