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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201127594 - Employee Is Electrocuted And Killed When Changing Lightbulbs

Accident: 201127594 -- Report ID: 0950613 -- Event Date: 04/18/2010
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31009754804/19/20105541Union 76
At approximately 1:25 p.m. on April 18, 2010, Employee #1 was replacing fluorescent light bulbs at a gas station. A coworker instructed Employee #1 to remove a fluorescent light bulb and go buy four replacement bulbs like it. The arrangement of the fluorescent light bulbs was in two perpendicular rows, which comprised a 16 foot long fluorescent panel. Each row had the capacity to hold at least three fluorescent light bulbs approximately ten inches apart. To remove the fluorescent light bulb, Employee #1 climbed on top of a tire inflating air compressor machine, approximately three feet six inches high. Employee #1 grabbed onto the florescent light bulb, which was approximately seven feet six inches above the ground, in order to remove it. As Employee #1 touched towards the left end of the fluorescent light bulb, he started shaking in the upper torso, jerked continuously, and hopped back down from the tire inflating air compressor machine. He landed on his feet and fell backwards, buttocks first. Employee #1 was shaking on the ground and then lay motionless. A coworker called 911, and the police department, the fire department and an ambulance arrived immediately. All confirmed that Employee #1 did not have a pulse. Employee #1 was transported to Seton Medical Center and was pronounced dead at 1:57 p.m. According to the San Mateo coroner, Employee #1 was electrocuted. Upon examination of the light ballasts using a voltmeter, the voltage reading was approximately 700 volts alternating current (AC). Thus, the ballast failed as its voltage increased to 700 volts AC and fluctuating. The switch from the electrical panel inside the gas station to turn off the fluorescent lights could not be located.
Keywords: ballast--lighting, maintenance, electrocuted, lighting fixture, fall
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 310097548 Fatality Electric Shock Cashiers

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