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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 998849 - Employee Later Dies In Fall With Utility Pole

Accident: 998849 -- Report ID: 0552700 -- Event Date: 09/06/1990
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11163265909/25/19904911Steele-Waseca Cooperative
On September 6, 1990, Employee #1, who was a line foreman, and an apprentice lineman went out to a rural residence to repair a security light on a free-standing wooden utility pole. The pole was 35 feet long and had been there for approximately 46 years. The necessary equipment, such as a bulb, photo cell, hand line, and climbers, was obtained. The wooden pole was sound tested with a hammer by Employee #1; it was pounded at the base and farther up the pole. He put on his climbing belt and climbed up the pole to about 5 feet from the top. The photo cell was tested and the light came on, but was very dim. He told the apprentice that the photo cell and bulb would have to be changed. This was a common procedure. The apprentice started to walk toward the truck to throw away the boxes that had contained the photo cell and bulb when he heard a big crack and turned around. He looked up and could see that the pole had tilted considerably. Employee #1, at the top, was shifting his way around the pole when it snapped and fell through a split rail fence. Employee #1 was taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, where he died on September 18, 1990, from injury complications to the lungs and kidneys. The employer has established and written a specific procedure for testing free-standing poles.
Keywords: lung, repair, work rules, equipment failure, fall, kidney, utility pole
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 111632659 Fatality Other Supervisors; electricians & power transm. install.

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