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Co-op Line Worker Severely Burned by High Voltage Power Line in AL

December 1, 2011 Leave a comment

CULLMAN, AL — A Cullman Electric Cooperative line worker is receiving treatment for severe burns after coming into contact with a high-voltage power line on the job in the Johnsons Crossing community Wednesday.

The worker, whose name is being withheld at his family’s request, was transported to the burn unit at UAB hospital Wednesday afternoon following the electrical accident, which occurred around 2:15 p.m. No other workers were injured.

Co-op spokesman Brian Lacy said Wednesday the accident occurred during routine work on the cooperative’s distribution lines in the area.

“There were several crews working in the area at the time, and he was by himself in the bucket of a bucket truck when he came into physical contact with the line,” said Lacy.

“His partner on the ground, who had been trained in bucket truck-type rescue procedures, was able to use the bucket controls on the ground to lower him and help get him out of the bucket. He was transported to helicopter to the burn unit at UAB, and he was responsive and able to communicate with paramedics on the ground at the time that he was being loaded into the helicopter.”

The distribution line on which the man had been working carries 7,200 volts of electricity, said Lacy.

Because of the manner in which electrical injuries affect the body, Lacy said it is too early to offer a prognosis on the victim’s long-term prospects for recovery.

“In general, in situations in which electricity passes through the body, a person can have visible burn marks on their skin — but they can also have internal injuries that may take more time to manifest,” he said. “It could really be several weeks until we know. The fact that he is alive is good news, and we are hopeful that the doctors will be able to help him in his recovery, but it is still very early in that process right now.”

While accidents involving high-voltage electrical currents are severe, they are also rare. The last accident in which a Co-op lineman was injured after contact with an energized line occurred more than 10 years ago, in July of 2000.

“We put a major emphasis on safety, and on understanding the dangers involved with electricity,” said Lacy. “It’s so unforgiving — all it takes is one mistake, one time. Our workers are guys who, every single day, put themselves in a position of potential danger. Our guys receive training on site six months out of the year with the safety director of the Alabama Rural Electricity Association, who comes and reinforces the same concepts and procedures these guys have known their entire career. Certainly there’s no one on the face of the earth who has more respect for the power of electricity than an electrical lineman.”

Story via CullmanTimes.com

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Fire Department / Utilities Discuss Power Lines

January 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Fire Department & Utility Discuss Delays in Shutting Down Power Lines after 2009 Electrical Accident of Fireman

 

Scranton, PA – Representatives from the Scranton Fire Department and PPL Electric Utilities met last week to discuss solutions to the issue of PPL’s sometimes-belated response to fires and plan to meet again next week.

Scranton Deputy Fire Chief Allen Lucas said the meeting Wednesday at PPL’s facility on Larch Street aimed to “pinpoint deficiencies on both ends.”

What Deputy Chief Lucas called a “brainstorm session” produced “a lot of good ideas,” though the two plan to meet again next week along with representatives of the Lackawanna County Communications Center to iron out the details of proposed pilot programs, he said.

“We’re going to try to design some new procedures to put in place that, hopefully, might be the catalyst for the entire county to try and improve all of the deficiencies,” Deputy Chief Lucas said.

The issue came to a head after a Dec. 16 fire at Pittston Avenue and East Elm Street. Fire Chief Tom Davis raised concerns about PPL’s response to that fire, citing a nearly 40-minute delay in shutting off electrical lines after the arrival of the first fire crews.

PPL spokesman Richard Beasley said at the time that the utility company felt its 25-minute response from when its records show it was notified of the fire was “timely.”

While no one was hurt as a result of the delay, it would not have been the first time if someone had been.

On Jan. 6, 2008, city fire Capt. James Robeson was electrocuted when the ladder truck bucket he was in came into contact with a 12,400-volt overhead power line while fighting a fire on Ash Street.

Findings from a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health released in 2009 found mixed communication between PPL and the Fire Department helped cause the devastating accident. The utility company reported the power lines were de-energized, but the Fire Department did not verify which lines had been de-energized, the report found.

“The biggest thing is just going to be in communication and timely communication on both ends,” Deputy Chief Lucas said of last week’s meeting. “It all comes down to communication.”

Mr. Beasley agreed with Deputy Chief Lucas’ assessment of the discussion.

“The overall emphasis is going to focus on how to communicate better, making sure that all parties know what’s expected of them and how to best meet those expectations,” said Mr. Beasley, who was at the meeting.

Story via TheTimes-Tribune.com

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Electrical Worker in LA Shocked & Burned by Electrical Lines

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Bienville Parish, LA – A Claiborne Electric worker has been flown from Bienville Parish to LSU Hospital in Shreveport by Life Air Rescue. 

According to Bienville Parish Sheriff Office, the Claiborne Electric worker was working on a line on Hwy 516.

The Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Department worked an accident this afternoon involving a Claiborne Electric worker. Twenty-nine-year-old Adam Graves was working on electrical lines on Highway 516 just east of Hwy 371 when a bucket he was in came in contact with the electric lines. He sustained severe burns and is listed in good condition at LSU Medical Center

Story via KSLA.com