Worker ELectrocuted When Scissor Lift Gets too Close to Power Lines

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Take a look at the video in this post which goes through an accident in Canada where an operator was killed when his scissor lift came into contact with power lines.

Preliminary half-year data from IPAF’s accident reporting project show three fatalities due to electrocution while using aerial work platforms (AWPs). All three fatalities occurred in the United States.

Previous data reveal that electrocutions were the single largest cause of fatalities among AWP operators in the US in 2012, and in 2013, seven out of 53 AWP fatalities worldwide – 13% – were the result of electrocution.

Electrocutions occur when the operator or the boom inadvertently come too close to or touch overhead cables.

The operator victims are usually not trained electricians, but happen to be working close to power lines, performing tasks such as maintenance, construction, and trimming vegetation.

Current evidence suggests that the most probable reasons such incidents occur are:

  • Apparent lack of awareness of the proximity of the overhead power lines
  • Apparent complacency or lack of awareness of the voltage running through the cables
  • Moving the boom in the wrong direction when close to overhead cables
  • Operating the boom erratically and not stopping when and where expected

Qualified line workers do receive detailed training before working on or near energy installations, so the greater risk is from those who have not had that specific training and just happen to have to work near energized overhead cables.


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