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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Inspection Detail

Violation Summary
Serious Willful Repeat Other Unclass Total
Initial Violations 2 2
Current Violations 2 2
Initial Penalty $7,400 $0 $0 $0 $0 $7,400
Current Penalty $3,800 $0 $0 $0 $0 $3,800
FTA Amount $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

Violation Items
# ID Type Standard Issuance Abate Curr$ Init$ Fta$ Contest LastEvent
  1. 01001 Serious 19100333 C03 IIIB 04/26/2002 05/01/2002 $2,300 $4,700 $0 I - Informal Settlement
  2. 01002 Serious 19100333 C03 IIIC 04/26/2002 05/01/2002 $1,500 $2,700 $0 I - Informal Settlement

Accident Investigation Summary
Summary Nr: 202330460 Event: 12/05/2001Boom Truck Makes Contact With Powerline And Kills Worker
On December 5, 2001, Employee #1, a 29-year-old male, a groundsman with Scott Service Corporation a tree trimming company that was hired by BGE to clear their electrical lines of branches and other vegetation. Employee #1 was working as part of a ten-man crew, which consisted of the two employees on traffic control; two employees as boom truck operators or trimmers; two foremen, a climber who was "monitoring" the work; and three groundsmen which included Employee #1. The groundsmen were to wait for the limbs to be cut and fall to the ground and then go in and pull out all of the downed limbs and branches and pile them up so they can be put into the wood chipper. The crew arrived at the work site and set up the two boom trucks and then partially blocked off the eastbound lane of the road. Two flagmen were placed for traffic control. Boom truck number 1 was set up by a weeping willow tree. The outriggers were put in place and the grounding rod was attached at the rear of the truck. A wood chipper was connected to the rear of the boom truck. Boom truck number 2 was set up by a mulberry tree with the outriggers in place and the grounding rod installed. The operator of boom truck number 1 got in the bucket and raised the boom and moved it into place at the weeping willow tree. The boom arm was positioned like "an upside V". The boom arm was approximately 30-feet to 33-feet above the ground and 2.33-feet above 13,200 kilovolts electrical lines. After approximately fifteen minutes of trimming the "C Phase to Ground" electrical wire or line, located approximately 28-feet above the ground, a wire came into contact with the boom of Boom Truck Number 1. It contacted a wire on an area on the boom that was not insulated. When the wire made contact there was a ball of fire around it for a brief period of time until the operator pulled away from the electric line and the fire stopped. The operator or trimmer was not injured. However, when this operator looked to the ground, he saw Employee #1 down on the ground by the wood chipper. Apparently the electric wire contacted the boom as well as the grounding wire. The grounding wire was connected approximately one-foot to the right of where the wood chipper was connected to the rear of Boom Truck Number 1 and Employee #1 was just standing by the rear of the wood chipper that was attached to Boom Truck Number 1 with his right hand touching the wood chipper. According to the operator of Boom Truck Number 1, he had finished trimming in one area of the weeping willow tree and was ready to move to the next section that needed trimming in this tree. As he looked to his right for the boom basket controls he noticed that the electrical lines below him were bouncing. He yelled down to the groundsmen to stop doing whatever was causing the electric lines to bounce. Within seconds of yelling to the groundsmen and before he could move the bucket and boom arm, the lines bounced high enough and made contact. The two foremen and the climber had been standing back behind Boom Truck Number 2 talking about the job and watching the work of both trimmers. The two foremen who were monitoring the work should have been able to notice that the groundsmen were pulling on the down limbs while the trimming was going on, which was against company policy. If they were watching closely they should have been able to see the bouncing wires. Whether they would have been able to warn the operator before the contact is not known. For whatever reason these three employees failed to notice that two groundsmen were pulling on fallen limbs and branches. Apparently the act of pulling on these downed limbs and branches by the groundsmen had caused other small trees and branches to move, making all of the cable TV, telephone, and electric lines bounce. They bounced high enough that one of the electrical lines contacted Boom Truck Number 1. Employee #1 was just standing by the rear of the wood chipper that was attached to Boom Truck Number
Keywords: boom truck, overhead power line, electrocuted, tree trimming
Inspection Degree Nature Occupation
1 304692528 Fatality Electric Shock Forestry workers, except logging

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