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Painting contractor electrocuted, when ladder hits power line in MA

Posted by Mark Paskell on Thu, Aug 30, 2012 @ 09:10 PM

A painting contractor was electrocuted yesterday when his ladder hit a power line at a residential home in Hingham, Massachusetts. According to an article from the man had 8000 volts go through him causing cardiac arrest. Thankfully witnesses with the assistance of of dispatchers were able to perform CPR until paramedics arrived. The painter was then shocked back to life and sent to the hospital. This incident was also reported on the news.

WHDH and NBC News report stated that Hingham paramedics Tom Jacintho and Mike Woods took over with a cardiac monitor which shocked the victim back to life. They said:

“With electrocution, the defibrillator usually makes the big difference there. So it was good that they had early CPR” Jacintho said.

Note; contractors are required by OSHA to have a trained person on site to administer CPR and First Aid within a few minutes of an accident. CPR and First Aid Training

OSHA National Campaign for Fall Protection Prevention and Related Hazards 

Preventing Falls in Construction

These types of unfortunate injuries can be prevented with the right training and safety awareness. Currently OSHA is conducting a national campaign and focus on the residential construction industry. The focus is on preventing injuries and deaths while working on elevated heights 6 feet or more above lower levels. OSHA is also focusing on contractors working with ladders, scaffolding and other types of staging. One of the major hazards and cause of injuries and deaths is electrocution while working with ladders and staging.

We do not know what OSHA training this individual received however it would not be surprising if he had none. Most residential contractors are not up to speed with the OSHA Standards they are required to follow.

In this case the pertinent OSHA Standards employers are required to provide training for their workers are;

OSHA Fall Protection Training

  • Subpart M: Conventional Fall Protection, safety nets, guard rails, personal fall arrest systems whie working at heights of 6' above lower levels.
  • Subpart X: Stairs and Ladders 
  • Subpart L: Scaffolding 

OSHA has a local office in Braintree, Mass and over the past two years there have been numerous deaths and injuries on the South Shore and Cape Cod. Last year a similar incident occurred in Brockton, Mass when two men had 18,000 volts go through their bodies when a ladder hit a power line.

Due to the unusual high level of deaths and injuries in Region 1, OSHA has issued a Local Emphasis Program (LEP) in Fall Protection effective until September of 2015.  Local OSHA officials have been very active providing outreach over the past year however there are still thousands of contractors working unsafe in the New England area. With the combination of the National Fall Protection focus and the local LEP the first priority for OSHA education and enforcement in New England is compliance with the Fall Protection Directive. This focus will continue until the industry reduces the amount of injuries and deaths in the residential construction industry. We are receiving daily reports of companies cited for failure to provide fall protection and training for their workers.

To learn more about working safely and in compliance with OSHA Standards please check out the rest of our website or contact me directly.  

We also provide Fall Protection training throughout New England for individuals, private companies, sub contractors and we often partner with lumberyards, material suppliers and trade associations.

Mark the Coach



Tags: electrocution