Electric Shock Accidents at Work – Working Near Overhead Lines


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Whether it’s working on a bucket truck or a crane, workers are at risk of coming into contact with an energized or live line. The results are often fatal. At even low volts, such as 5 Milliamperes (mA), an involuntary physical reaction can result in a second accident. For example, a worker who is shocked at a low level may fall from a roof.

Pennsylvania Rail Worker Killed in Work Related Electric Accident in NY

Last month, a Pennsylvania railway worker was tragically killed in an electric shock accident. According to a news report, a 39 year old PA man was working under a bridge in Colesville, New York, just outside of Binghamton. He was taking measurements under a steel rail bridge when he came into contact with live wires.

According to the reports, the worker was in a bucket truck under the bridge, when the truck came into contact with live wires. He was likely killed instantly. An investigation is being conducted by OSHA. Source: www.pressconnects.com, “Police: Railway worker identified in fatal accident”

OSHA Regulations – Working Near Overhead Lines, Section 1910.333(c)(3)

OSHA regulations apply to work near overhead lines. Section 1910.333 requires that the lines be deenergized and grounded, or other protective measures must be in place before work begins. Section 1910.333(c)(3) provides:

“Overhead lines.” If work is to be performed near overhead lines, the lines shall be deenergized and grounded, or other protective measures shall be provided before work is started. If the lines are to be deenergized, arrangements shall be made with the person or organization that operates or controls the electric circuits involved to deenergize and ground them. If protective measures, such as guarding, isolating, or insulating, are provided, these precautions shall prevent employees from contacting such lines directly with any part of their body or indirectly through conductive materials, tools, or equipment.

Note: The work practices used by qualified persons installing insulating devices on overhead power transmission or distribution lines are covered by 1910.269 of this Part, not by 1910.332 through 1910.335 of this Part. Under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, unqualified persons are prohibited from performing this type of work.

In addition, OSHA limits the distance between an unqualified person (i.e., those with little or no knowledge about electric hazards) and the overhead lines.

1910.333(c)(3)(i)(A):When an unqualified person is working in an elevated position near overhead lines, the location shall be such that the person and the longest conductive object he or she may contact cannot come closer to any unguarded, energized overhead line than the following distances:

1910.333(c)(3)(i)(A)(1): For voltages to ground 50kV or below – 10 feet (305 cm);

1910.333(c)(3)(i)(A)(2): For voltages to ground over 50kV – 10 feet (305 cm) plus 4 inches (10 cm) for every 10kV over 50kV.

Related: Electrical Accidents in Pennsylvania and New Jersey – Common OSHA Violations Resulting in Injury

Under Pennsylvania and New Jersey work accident law, those whose negligent actions contribute to the happening of an electric shock accident can be held accountable to the injured worker and his family. Contact our Pennsylvania and New Jersey electric accident lawyers for a free consultation.

Related Electric Shock Work Accident Legal Articles:

PA & NJ Electric Shock Accident Lawyers

To submit your case for review by our Pennsylvania and New Jersey electrical accident and injury lawyers, call Click To Call. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation, and can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis.

Our work place electric accident attorneys serve workers injured in the following areas: Allegheny County, PA; Berks County, PA; Bucks County, PA; Chester County, PA; Delaware County, PA; Lehigh County, PA; Montgomery County, PA; Northampton County, PA: Philadelphia County, PA; Atlantic County, NJ; Burlington County, NJ; Camden County, NJ; Cumberland County, NJ; Gloucester County, NJ; Salem County, NJ; New Castle County, DE; Kent County, DE; Atlantic City, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Newark, NJ; Doylestown, PA; Media, PA; West Chester, PA; Norristown, PA; Camden, NJ; Wilmington, DE; Newark, DE; Georgetown, DE; and New Castle, DE. Our lawyers can obtain special admission in other states on a case by case basis.

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