Work on Live Fixture Causes Fatal Accident
An experienced electrician was fatally injured while changing fluorescent light fixtures.
A series of light fixtures were being moved as part of a building renovation. The
electrician was alone and standing on a stepladder when the accident occurred. He was
working with his upper body above the suspended ceiling and his chest against metal
water pipes, making him a good grounding path. The victim was electrocuted when he
came into contact and stayed in contact with an energized 347-volt Bx12/2 wire. The
wire had been removed from the fixture and left hanging at his side.
WorkSafeNB determined the primary cause of the fatality to be working on a live fixture.
Recommended Preventive Action
- An employer shall ensure that the power supply to electrical equipment is
de-energized, locked out of service and tagged before any work is done on
equipment and while the work is done on equipment. [Section 287.3(1),
- Where it is not practicable to de-energize electrical equipment before working
on or near energized exposed parts of the equipment, an employee shall use
rubber gloves, mats, shields and other protective equipment to ensure protection
from electrical shocks and burns while performing the work. [Section 287.4(1),
- Don’t take short cuts! Shorting-up the wires or turning the power off at the wall
switch are not acceptable methods of de-energizing electrical equipment. The
electrical breaker should be switched off and properly locked out and tagged
before any work is accomplished.