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FACE Report: Worker electrocuted while installing lines for security cameras

Photo: NIOSH

Report: #2019-01
Issued by: NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program
Date of report: July 29, 2021

A 48-year-old city electric maintenance worker was electrocuted while installing lines for security cameras in a residential area. According to a GPS tracker in the worker’s elevated bucket truck, the worker positioned the truck in front of a newly placed camera pole. Electric power lines running to a housing development were adjacent to the pole. The worker got into the basket, raised it to about 28 feet, pulled some triplex service wire and began installing it onto the pole. It is believed he was not aware of his proximity to the power lines. A resident called 911 after experiencing flickering lights and hearing a loud noise. First responders found the worker’s truck with its basket in the air and a hard hat lying on the street. Firefighters raised a ladder truck above the basket and saw the worker on the basket floor. He had signs of electrical burns on his right shoulder, hand and clothing, and his reflective vest and gloves were melted. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

To help prevent similar occurrences, employers should:

  • Develop, implement and provide training on safety and communication plans for lone workers.
  • Before assigning work, determine appropriate safety distances while working near power lines, and identify and establish safe work practices such as lockout/tagout procedures.
  • Provide competent and qualified person training to enable workers in high-risk occupations to assess job tasks for hazards to determine appropriate safety precautions and personal protective equipment.
  • Implement pre-work hazard identification with corrective action/peer-check, self-check and daily safety talks that address hazard recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions.

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