Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration
On June 21, 2000, a potential fatal electrical
accident occurred when an electrician contacted energized 12,470
volt conductors in a receptacle on a high voltage line switch.
The injured was cleaning the receptacle with a brush in
preparation for connecting the high-voltage cable. He held the
brush in his right hand and had his left hand on the outer shell
of the receptacle.When the brush contacted the energized conductors
in the receptacle, he received an electrical shock resulting in
burns to both hands. The vacuum circuit breaker in the line
switch was closed even though a cable was not plugged into the
receptacle. The ground monitor should have prevented the
energized circuit, however, a normally closed contact in the
shunt trip circuit was stuck in the open position preventing the
vacuum circuit breaker from tripping.The line switch is equipped with a visual disconnect
between the vacuum circuit breaker and the receptacle that opens
and grounds the high-voltage conductors extending to the
receptacle. Failure to disconnect and ground the high-voltage
circuit before performing work resulted in the accident.
- Ensure that equipment is de-energized, grounded, and locked
and tagged out before performing electrical work.
- If it isn't grounded, it isn't dead.
Return to Close
Call/Info-Gram Index Page
District 8 Home
This information was provided by concerned
miners in an effort to eliminate accidents. Accident or "close
call" information within District 8 may be shared by contacting
the MSHA office at (812) 882-7617.