A word to the wise for employees: When it comes to overhead utility lines, let the experts deal with them. This case shows the alternative can be deadly.
The driver of a tractor trailer was electrocuted in Tulsa, OK, after the vehicle’s load got tangled with overhead utility lines.
The truck was transporting a large heat exchanger which was too high to go under a cable TV line. The driver, 26-year-old Robert Young, climbed on top of the heat exchanger to try to move the cable TV line when the exchanger touched an electric line energized with 4,200 volts.
The Tulsa Fire Department used a bucket truck to remove Young from the top of the heat exchanger, but he was already dead, according to KOTV-TV.
The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety is checking into whether the escort vehicle was equipped with a required pole to check for wires that would interfere with the load.
The transport company, Stone Trucking, specializes in moving oversize loads.
Here are some reminders you can give employees if a vehicle they’re driving comes in contact with power lines or if they come upon fallen lines:
- Treat all downed power lines, and anything in contact with them, as energized.
- Keep people and vehicles at least 10 yards away from fallen lines.
- If a power line has fallen on your vehicle, stay inside it until help comes. Try to drive the vehicle away so it’s no longer in contact with the lines.
- Call the power company immediately, and
- Don’t approach fallen lines until power company representatives confirm it’s safe.