A sewer worker died on Thursday, April 12 after he was electrocuted while operating a piece of heavy machinery as he was attempting to make repairs to a sewer line. The incident occurred along DuPont Street in Johnstown just before 10:30 a.m.
According to witnesses at the scene, the 30-year-old Butler man was apparently electrocuted when the machinery he was operating at the time made contact with the power line above. The line that was struck was apparently carrying 23,000 volts of electricity when it struck the machinery.
Workers watched in horror as the electricity traveled down from the severed power line into the machinery the man had been operating at the time, ultimately electrocuting him.
After seeing what occurred, the man’s two co-workers immediately stepped in to try to separate the supercharged machinery from him. They both suffered undisclosed injuries as they attempted to do so.
Emergency crews arriving at the scene of the incident had to wait for representatives with the local electric cooperative to cut power to the area before being allowed to rush in and tend to the wounded. By the time they were able to make it to them, the one Insight Pipe Contracting LLC worker had already passed away. His two co-workers were transported to an area hospital.
An autopsy the following day confirmed that the 30-year-old deceased worker had indeed died of an accidental electrocution.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is conducting a more thorough investigation of the events that led up to the worker’s deaths. A spokesperson for the agency notes that their employer is fully cooperating with the agency representatives.
Countless workers are injured on the job each day across Pennsylvania. Many workers are hurt because they receive inadequate safety training necessary to help prevent their deaths. If you’ve been seriously hurt in a workplace accident, then a Dauphin attorney can advise you of your rights to coverage for medical bills and lost wages in your case.
Source: U.S. News and World Report, “Worker dies after machine hits power line; 2 others hurt,” April 13, 2018