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Today I witnessed an Electrocution #151032
04/04/06 06:59 PM
04/04/06 06:59 PM
renosteinke  Offline OP
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Today I saw a man electrocuted; fortunately, a timely response led to a happy ending.

The electrician was about three steps up a ladder, wedged in between assorted pipes and ducts, working on a circuit.
The box contained multiple circuits, and, as these were 'critical' circuits in a maximum security prison, it was not feasable to shut them all down. This was a 208/120 system.
It appeared that he may have grabbed a loose neutral wire; that is not certain. What is certain is that he suddenly became errect, as if he were 'standing at atention.'

When "are you OK" got no response, another sparky kicked the ladder out from under him. No difference; he was supported by the piping.
The sparky then wrapped his arms around the thighs of the victim, and tugged. The victim had a well-controlled drop to ground, where he collapsed to his knees, and "jacknifed" over.
It was clear that the victim had no pulse, and was not breathing. The other sparky then grabed the man's collar, and pulled him up, over, and on to his back. At this point, the victim revived.
Time for the entire drama? Probably less than a minute.

Another fifteen minutes rest were required, before the victim was able to stand. He was examined by local medical personnel, then driven to the hospital for a follow-up exam.

The hospital exams- mainly EKG and blood tests- revealed that the man had, indeed, suffered a very severe shock. This stunned the attending medics, as he appeared quite healthy at the time!
He is being kept overnight for observation, and is expected to be working again Thursday.

Where do I fit into this story? Tonight I get to go to the airport, and pick up his 10 yr old grandson....who is coming to visit.

Arc Flash PPE Clothing, LOTO & Insulated Tools
Re: Today I witnessed an Electrocution #151033
04/04/06 07:29 PM
04/04/06 07:29 PM
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
I am glad he will be seeing his grandson again.

That said he should have refused to do the work.

IF the circuit truly could not be turned off, than PPE must be employed.

Anything else is just an excuse that would sound pretty weak to his grandson.


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Re: Today I witnessed an Electrocution #151034
04/05/06 11:54 PM
04/05/06 11:54 PM
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,260
SI,New Zealand
Bob, I agree.
Gloves could have prevented this from happening.
However, anyone that has read my rants on Occupational Safety here would know that I am all for cover-up gear.
Sure I might be a Line-Mechanic, but I've never been involved in an Electric Shock incident in the time that I have been in the Trade.
Cover-up gear uses Neoprene sheets as a barrier to live parts, clipped with plastic clips.
Next time I do one of these jobs I'll submit some pics.
Sure it looks like a bomb could go off, with the amount of barriers, but that is standard practice here.
You only have the parts being worked upon exposed.
A few of you lower voltage folks could learn a lot from us high voltage workers.

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 04-06-2006).]

Re: Today I witnessed an Electrocution #151035
04/06/06 03:32 AM
04/06/06 03:32 AM
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,260
SI,New Zealand
Please don't think that I mean't that you Electricians are idiots or anything.
I'm an Electrician myself but, I look at Safety before workability.
It's a work-around that gets a job done in our field.

Re: Today I witnessed an Electrocution #151036
04/06/06 07:26 AM
04/06/06 07:26 AM
NJwirenut  Offline
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 806
Bergen County, NJ
Glad that the guy is going to be OK. [Linked Image]

But the fact that he lived means that you fortunately DID NOT witness an "electrocution". By definition, an electrocution is a FATAL event...

[This message has been edited by NJwirenut (edited 04-06-2006).]

Re: Today I witnessed an Electrocution #151037
04/06/06 08:36 AM
04/06/06 08:36 AM
pauluk  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
By definition, an electrocution is a FATAL event...


electrcute 19th century origin derived from electro-execute, following New York's adoption of the electric chair in 1890.

According to one etymology, the use of the word to refer to an accidental electrocution is first recorded around 1909.

But glad he's O.K., anyway. [Linked Image]

Re: Today I witnessed an Electrocution #151038
04/06/06 08:39 AM
04/06/06 08:39 AM
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,260
SI,New Zealand
I agree.
Electrocution means a fatal electric shock, where the brain dies along with other essential organs.
Personally I blame a lot of this sort of talk on the media, after sensationised headlines, as in "Man Electrocuted by Electric fence".
Death is Death.
No coming back from that.

Re: Today I witnessed an Electrocution #151039
04/06/06 09:24 AM
04/06/06 09:24 AM
renosteinke  Offline OP
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
I thought carefully before I called this an "electrocution." I stand by my choice of words.

The victim had stopped breathing. He had no pulse. He was completely unconscious. Only upon revival did his vital signs resume. Had there been a less promt response....

Since then, we have learned that one of the 'points of contact' was his left temple; an electrical burn has surfaced there. It is safe to say his system was completely shut down as a result of the current flowing through his brain.

He may not have seen heaven, but he was shaking hands with St. Peter!

Re: Today I witnessed an Electrocution #151040
04/06/06 12:03 PM
04/06/06 12:03 PM
Alan Belson  Offline
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Mayenne N. France
Electrocution from Electro-execution, from the introduction of the Electric Chair, [ thanks for that NJW, BTW ].

If not fatal, then it's just an electric-shock?

Any more names for a non-fatal shock- how about electropardon?

My son informs me a penitentary just sacked an electrician who refused to work on an electric chair.

Claimed it was a death-trap.



Wood work but can't!
Re: Today I witnessed an Electrocution #151041
04/06/06 08:45 PM
04/06/06 08:45 PM
Elviscat  Offline
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 214
Seattle Washington USA
When someone's heart has stopped beating, and they've stopped breathing they're brain shuts down and they're clinically dead, so the use of the word "Electrocution" is proper

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