Power company worker survives 220,000-volt shock 02.07.2003 By JO-MARIE BROWN A Transpower contractor is in hospital with serious burns after 220,000 volts from the national grid shot through his body. The 34-year-old Taupo man, employed by Electrix, was working inside the Wairakei substation when the accident occurred around 11am yesterday. He was knocked unconscious when power surged through one of his hands and out the other, leaving him with a hole in one palm and serious burns. "He was working on a high voltage transmission area where the line meets some other equipment," Transpower spokesman Wayne Eagleson said. Mr Eagleson said such accidents rarely occurred. He would not comment on whether the man was lucky to be alive after being struck by 220,000 volts, but pointed out that most power lines in residential areas carried only 11,000 volts. The Tranz Rail rescue helicopter flew the man to Rotorua Hospital. He was said to be recovering well last night. Transpower and Occupational Safety and Health are investigating.
Bryan, This guy is VERY lucky!!. I read about this accident in the paper and while these accidents happen infrequently, it is still an accident, although one that could and should be made avoidable. You would think that for a Line Mechanic, to be working at voltages like this and recieve a Hand-to-Hand shock, begs the question of How on earth did this occur?. And also, we have very clear-cut regulations over here, for this type of work and the need for cover-up gear and insulating gloves+gauntlets, I would be very interested in the results of the investigation by OSH.
#149109 - 07/05/0310:25 AMRe: Power company worker survives 220,000-volt shock
Just as an aside, Bryan, Taupo(in NZ) is the centre of most of the North Island National Grid System, Energy is Generated here and it is also Distributed all around the North Island, from here. 220kV would be the lowest of the Line Voltages that carry energy up to Auckland and voltages of 330kV and 440kV have been used and are still in operation. The biggest problem, Bryan, is the fact that these cables should have been Under-Grounded, years ago!, and the fact that they have not, doesn't say a lot for OSH or Transpower, over here. With all of the advances in URD and XLPE cables(for ALL Voltages up to 2MV), you'd think that the Authorities could at least afford to U/G a small piece of Grid wiring. Look at the price of Electricity, half of them could buy the whole darn system!!.