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Leaning on a wood chipper 20 feet from a crane can kill! What a crane accident!

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by Don2222, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hello

    See link below:
    http://www.wmur.com/news/nh-news/Tr...ays/-/9857858/14811464/-/4lt7mez/-/index.html
    Tree service worker electrocuted in crane accident, fire chief says

    Worker electrocuted in Newbury


    NEWBURY, N.H. -
    A tree service worker was electrocuted in Newbury when a crane he was working near came in contact with a high-voltage electric line Wednesday afternoon, a fire official said.
    The worker was standing with his hand on a wood chipper 20 feet from the crane when it touched a power line near the intersection of Route 103 and Sutton Road about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. Electricity traveled down the crane, through the ground and into the wood chipper, Newbury Fire Chief Chief Henry E. Thomas Jr. said.
    The man, whose name has not been released, was taken to Concord Hospital, where he died.
    The fire chief said OSHA has been called to investigate the incident. He said the worker was employed by Guillemette Tree Service out of Andover, a company hired by the state's Department of Transportation to clear vegetation near roadways.

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  2. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Wow, bad luck. Not sure I see how it happened that way - can't see how the guy was part of the path to ground. Maybe something else was in play, like a wire landed on the truck towing the trailer.
    The other day around here, a poor guy cranked up a construction lighting mast into a primary wire and died.
  3. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    How could you anticipate that and get any work done? Wow
  4. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    Agreed, something more had to be going on
    crane was probably up on outriggers so there would be a path
    truck and chipper tires rubber, probably rubber soled shoes
    path to ground????
    or they were some serious size transmission lines
  5. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hello

    Yes, there is alot of insulated rubber in tires and shoes there. So there must have been some real serious voltage!
  6. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Electricity does some wierd things.

    A fellow firefighter was up in the bucket at a rockin' house fire. He grabbed on to the class A chimney sticking up, to sready himself as he stepped out on the roof. Fortunately for him, the shock threw him back in the bucket, but with enough force to break some bones in his shoulder. The meter had already been pulled, and the power company had cut the lines to the house. Come to find out, one of the outriggers on the truck was directly over a buried line to an outbuilding with a separate feed. For whatever reason, the 80,000+ lb truck sitting on four outriggers on saturated ground became charged, and that chimney and firefighter became the best path to ground. Still not sure how that could happen, but that was the findings in the investigation. His shoulder is still jacked up, but he's damn lucky.
  7. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

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    As a former tree worker, there are a Few possibilities. Some states classify Bucket trucks as cranes. If this is the case here the chipper may have been hooked to the bucket truck and would have become energized with the truck. If it was a bucket truck it obviously was not an insulated boom. We had to test our's annually, We tested them to 100KV (OSHA standard) and on a damp morning you could see the spark travel down the boom to ground. It is also possible that someone replaced a non conductive hydraulic hose with a steel breaded hose. At any rate it is an unfortunate accident that was probably 100% preventable and you can bet lawyers have already contacted the family.
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    It said he was twenty feet away. That would be a real long hitch.
  9. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    This article explains it a little different and makes sense;

    http://www.unionleader.com/article/20120613/NEWS07/706149975

    It was a “freak accident” in which the electricity made contact with the man through the ground, Thomas said. “The crane came in contact with a wire, which put electricity into the ground. It traveled across the grass and into the guy.”

    Obviously the voltage never made it to ground, since it would have been disipated into the ground harmlessly. Wet grass could have been the conductor he was standing on, and the chipper somewhere made good contact to ground, him becoming the conductor between the charged grass and ground. Electricity will not dissipate into very dry ground either. It's the moisture (minerals dissolved in water) that conducts the electric. So a good layer of stone for drainage covered by grass growing on top could conduct sideways, not having contact with ground. The only thing that would have prevented it would have been a grounded crane (direct path to ground) or insulated boom.
    Working around tall pine trees, layers of pine needles could become a factor making an insulated mat on the ground, not allowing the crane to make good ground contact, and energize the top of a damp pine needle mat, with a dry layer underneath, not allowing it to ground.

    It's a good idea during prolonged dry spells to dump a bucket of water on your ground rod to assure good contact with earth. Many ground rods are under eves where they get little to no moisture from rain.
  10. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

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    If he was at the back of the chipper, that would be about right.

    But the way the second article reads it sounds like it was indeed an actual crane and not a bucket truck. It sounds like your basic freak accident. However when it comes to blame, it will fall on the operator for hitting the wires in first place.

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