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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201056579 - Employee Electrocuted In Contact With Metal Conduit

Accident: 201056579 -- Report ID: 0950642 -- Event Date: 08/03/2002
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30077979008/05/20021711Oliver Lee Nash
On August 3, 2002, Employee #1 was hired as a subcontractor to perform plumbing work at a residence in Los Angeles, CA. At approximately 10:00 a.m., he and a coworker arrived at the house; the coworker went inside and Employee #1 prepared to began to work underneath it. His job required that he access fresh water plumbing via a crawl space that was entered through an opening at the back of the residence. He continued to work until about 7:30 p.m., when he called the contractor to request he purchase an additional part from Home Depot before it closed. The contractor arrived at the site around 8:00 p.m. to get some of the supply money he had given Employee #1. He then left and returned with the part at approximately 9:00 p.m. Employee #1 continued working, but at approximately 10:00 p.m. he complained to the contractor that the house was not grounded and that he was getting shocked. The contractor asked him to come out of the crawl space, but Employee #1 responded that he could see where it was that he was getting shocked, although he did not specify the area. Within a short time, Employee #1 was shocked a second time, with enough intensity that it caused him to bite his tongue. The contractor again urged him to come out, and he then went into the house to call the property owner. At this time the coworker who had been inside the residence came out to see what was happening. The contractor was speaking with the owner when the coworker returned to the house and told him that Employee #1 was not moving. The contractor ended the call and contacted Emergency Services, who instructed him to shut off the power to the house. Employee #1 was transported by paramedics to the Martin Luther King/Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he was pronounced dead. The Los Angeles County Coroner's report indicated that the cause of death was consistent with electrocution. On September 24, 2002, an interview was conducted with the electrician who did electrical work on the property after the accident. He stated that the electrical system of the house was not grounded. The service supplying power to the house, which was fed from the meter box of a neighboring residence, was comprised of two energized lines and a neutral line, but no ground wire. Also, no grounding stake was found installed at the house. Underneath the house he found an approximately 10 ft long run of 3/8 in. flexible conduit (BX cable) that contained 18-gauge hot and neutral wires that were not terminated. The hot wire in this conduit was energized and found to be drawing current from a duplex receptacle in the kitchen. The conduit itself was cut off and the wires inside frayed, making contact with the conduit possible. This flexible metal conduit, whihc was not grounded, had been run through the floor and stapled to the floor joists approximately 2 ft from the newly installed copper plumbing. A grocery bag was also found tied around the conduit, holding up some Romex wiring. Arc spots on the conduit suggest it was probably the source of contact for Employee #1. Neither he nor the contractor held electrical contractor licenses.
Keywords: electric arc, protective grounding, inadequate maint, conduit, work rules, electrocuted, struck against, construction, elec circ part--misc, crawl space
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Single family or duplex dwelling Maintenance or repair Under $50,000 1 8 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 300779790 Fatality Electric Shock Plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters FallDist:
FallHt:
Cause: Installing plumbing, lighting fixtures
FatCause: Electrocution by touching exposed wire/source

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