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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 998872 - Fall - Utility Pole Failure

Accident: 998872 -- Report ID: 0552700 -- Event Date: 08/03/1988
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10773222408/08/19881623Donovan Construction Company
A crew of three power line workers working for a power line contractor was replacing rotted utility poles. The utility scheduled an outage, affecting about 30 residential customers, for 6:00 AM so that this work could be performed. The overhead power line was deenergized on the west side of a highway; and the conductors, which spanned the highway, were taken down. A wood preservative contractor had tested the poles in the work area and had marked pole #264 as a danger pole. (This contractor had placed two square white tags on the pole to indicate that it was unsafe to climb without additional guying or bracing.) The power line crew, using an aerial lift and a digger-derrick, was to replace this pole. One of the employees went up in the aerial lift to remove the braces from pole #264. Without guying or bracing the pole, the power line foreman on the crew climbed it, using his body belt and climbers, to help his coworker remove the braces. The last brace was removed, and the employee on the pole leaned back to find a place to throw the brace. When he did this, the rotted pole broke off at ground level. The pole and the foreman fell to the ground, and the foreman was crushed when the pole landed on top of him. He died of his injuries. (No autopsy was performed.) The employer was aware that the pole was rotted--it was marked as such in their work book. The crew, which had replaced rotted poles in this area for three consecutive summers, had spent a total of 15 to 30 minutes on the pole.
Keywords: collapse, power line worker, crushed, guy, brace, elec utility work, fall, utility pole
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 107732224 Fatality Other Electrical power installers and repairers

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