Carpenter Electrocuted By Power Saw

A 22-year-old carpenter was working at a construction site where a multi-unit apartment complex was being built.

Electricity to operate portable power tools was supplied from a temporary service pole nearby. This service pole had not been inspected by the city and did not satisfy the applicable code requirements.

The victim used a homemade extension cord to supply power from the receptacle on the pole to a building. A second extension cord (UL approved) was used to supply power from the homemade extension cord to a portable power saw. The accident site was wet from rain.

The carpenter was preparing to come down a makeshift ladder, when he shifted his portable power saw from his right hand to his left hand. He was subsequently shocked and fell from the ladder into a puddle of water.

The deceased had burns on his left hand (the hand gripping the saw) and his left thigh.

The following safety recommendations were made:

  • Electrical equipment that is malfunctioning should be taken out of service immediately. The victim reportedly had been receiving shocks from the power saw throughout the morning.
  • Equipment should be used only for those applications for which it was designed and approved. The homemade extension cord should not have been used.
  • Electrical service supplied to a construction site should comply with all local regulations and OSHA standards.