July 17, 2012 - Shakopee, Minnesota
A utility worker was electrocuted on Monday while working from the bucket (aka: cherry picker) of a service truck and three other workers on the ground received serious shocks.
While working from the bucket of a utility truck on a 12,000 volt overhead power line, the worker was struck by an arc flash.. While still in the bucket, the injured man who had received 3 degree burns had to be brought down by the ground crew and was rushed to a nearby hospital..
The other three workers were working on the same line in another nearby location,were also injured and treated at the hospital. At this time, two men remain hospitalized but their conditions have not been released.
OSHA strongly recommends Arc Flash protective clothing in order to minimize the injuries sustained in the event of an arc flash. Arc flash temperatures can reach as high as 20,000 degrees Celsius/36,000 degrees Fahrenheit. A workers clothing can be melted into his skin; while Arc Flash protective clothing is designed to negate the effects of an Arc Flash event.
Unfortunately the worker in the bucket had not worn any Arc Flash protective clothing and it was reported that a witness heard him repeatedly say,
“I should have put it on. Why didn’t I put it on?”
OHSA is leveling large fines towards companies that do not make it mandatory for their employees to wear and use protective clothing and gear.
The cause of this event is under investigation.
Friends have set up a fund to help their families pay for medical expenses.