Ladder Incident

During the finishing stages of construction at an elementary school, an experienced journeyman electrician was standing on a 12 foot “A” frame fiberglass ladder. The electrician was installing light ballast when suddenly a loud yell was heard by workers in the area. The electrician had fallen backwards off the ladder, losing his hard hat during the fall. He struck his head on the concrete floor causing a massive open head injury. The incident resulted in a fatality.

Items identified in this incident are as follows:
1. No lockout/tagout procedures were in place
2. The fatally injured worker violated company policy by working on a live circuit
3. The worker violated OSHA standards
4. Employee had no record of lockout/tagout training
No employer shall permit an employee to work in such proximity to any part of an electric power circuit that the employee could contact the electric power circuit in the course of work, unless the employee is protected against electric shock by de-energizing the circuit and grounding it or by guarding it by insulation or other means.
1926.417(b) Equipment and circuits.
Equipment or circuits that are de-energized shall be rendered inoperative and shall have tags attached at all points where such equipment or circuits can be energized.
The definition of energized electrical work is any work on or around exposed energized parts that have the potential of 50 volts or more.
No work that meets the definition above may be performed by employees without EEW training, the proper PPE for the potential energy, a complete EEW permit, CPR certification that took place within the last year and a buddy.