Safety Tips FACE Reports

FACEValue: Two propane supplier workers electrocuted

Case report: #10WA031*
Issued by: Washington Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program
Date of incident: May 2010

A 40-year-old propane service technician and a 25-year-old material handler were fatally electrocuted at a propane gas supplier’s tank storage yard when a crane’s boom contacted an overhead power line. The service technician was electrocuted when the crane’s boom tip contacted a 7,200-volt overhead power line. The material handler moved toward him – presumably to provide aid – and entered the electrical field, where he too was electrocuted.

To help prevent similar occurrences:

  • Conduct a site survey to identify the locations of overhead power lines and determine whether work tasks could expose workers to the hazard of electrocution.
  • Determine measures to be taken so that electrocution may be avoided, eliminated, reduced or controlled.
  • Develop and enforce a comprehensive written safety program that includes training for workers in overhead power line electrocution hazard recognition.
  • Consider purchasing cranes with safety features intended to prevent or minimize the risk of electrocution.