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Paint Store Owner
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday a customer of mine had an employee get electrocuted. He was moving a 40' ladder near power lines. NEAR, he didn't touch the lines. In fact he was about 5' away from the lines themselves. According to the fire department, the lines can arc over 8'. So please just keep that in mind, and let employees know. Stay clear of power lines with ladders and poles. You don't have to touch it to get zapped! Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

The worker is fine. Although when this happened, it made a loud pop, then another employee turned around and saw the guy holding the ladder not moving, with smoke coming from his shoes. He then kicked the ladder from the guy holding it and he fell to the ground. Another employee performed CPR until the paramedics arrived. Everyone survived and is OK.
 

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Retired Moderator
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That guy got lucky.....real lucky. He should probably go buy a lottery ticket.

Had some guy on a lift hit a powerline here about 2-3 years ago. He didn't make it. I had a policy that anytime, anyone, was working near any powerline that another worker was present. Also that only fiberglass ladders were used around them. No excuses, no second chances.
 

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Thanks for that reminder. Honestly, I'd of thought 5' distance between the lines and me would have been good. I've never really gave much thought to arcing, just direct contact with the lines. Thanks again for the info. :yes:
 

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Paint Store Owner
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Schmidt & Co. said:
Thanks for that reminder. Honestly, I'd of thought 5' distance between the lines and me would have been good. I've never really gave much thought to arcing, just direct contact with the lines. Thanks again for the info. :yes:
They didn't think that either. The guy who got zapped has been in the biz over 20 years. First time any sort of accident....other than the usual, spills, drips and whatnot.
 

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PinheadsUnite
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FIVE FEET !!

that's amazing! (I was GOING to say "shocking" but refrained given the seriousness)

I've been taught that air is one of the best insulators. I wonder if the humidity was a factor. And I would imagine the lines were not properly grounded.

BTW, was this the service line coming into a home? Or something with a little more juice?

Thank God the guy is OK. And THANK YOU for the reminder.

As a friend says: "Electricity, the silent killer"
 

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Geesh...we have been up around them a lot of times...and closer than 5 feet !!! I have actually reached over some lines and under...just to get that hard to reach spot that probably would never be noticed from the ground anyways . I'll be changing our ways starting tomorrow !!! :thumbsup:
 

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Had three guys from another paint co die about 9 yrs ago. Two guys were moving a forty when it hit the wires they were stuck to the ladder, the other guy that was close to them went to help he got fried also, there was another painter that had the good sense to not touch them or he would of been the forth. I know this because I repainted the same building last year where they died. We had to have bge come shut the power off for that area of the building
 

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Had three guys from another paint co die about 9 yrs ago. Two guys were moving a forty when it hit the wires they were stuck to the ladder, the other guy that was close to them went to help he got fried also, there was another painter that had the good sense to not touch them or he would of been the forth. I know this because I repainted the same building last year where they died. We had to have bge come shut the power off for that area of the building
That must have really got you thinking while you were working there. Sad story for sure.
 

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NCPAINT1 - are you referring too a residence where the wiring meets the house?

There could have been sprinklers, the ladder may have been wet, wet feet, etc...

Fiberglass ladders are what I use around electrical!
 

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Paint Store Owner
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
PhillysFinest said:
NCPAINT1 - are you referring too a residence where the wiring meets the house?

There could have been sprinklers, the ladder may have been wet, wet feet, etc...

Fiberglass ladders are what I use around electrical!
From what I was told I think it was the pole itself. Being that it was over 100F here yesterday, I think everything was wet from sweat.

It was an aluminum ladder, I don't know anyone with a 40' fiberglass.....that could move it. ;-)
 

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If working near or around main electric wire you can call the electric company (couple of weeks in advance) and they will send someone out to wrap the wires. May not be 100% safe but it sure helps & gives you peace of mind. oh & its free, here in Boston anyway.
 

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Lambrecht Painting
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I had a now former employee after being reminded to be careful to not touch or get to close to the incoming power lines on a house lose his job after being caught holding onto the wires with one hand and brushing the house with the other. Told him his was a lucky SOB and to enjoy his future endeavors with a different employer. Stupid can't be fixed but stupid employees can easily be fired.
 

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I have had power company's wrap wires near buildings with a plastic/rubber sheet several times, at no charge.

Anyway, thanks for the reminder NC, you don't always think of these things while moving a ladder as you've done thousands of times before.
 
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