Two workers were attempting to erect a 36-foot, seven-inch aluminum scaffold pole when the pole fell onto energized power lines.
How did it happen?
Two workers started to set up a pump jack scaffold that they were going to use to install siding on a new two-story garage. They had been working at the site for a few weeks, installing siding on the other sides of the garage and expected this day to be just like the others.
The two workers stood on the concrete driveway and began to raise the first of two aluminum 36-foot, seven-inch aluminum scaffold poles while a third worker stood about 25 feet above them on the garage roof and guided the pole with a rope. One of the workers on the ground secured the pole’s rubber base plate while the other worker walked the pole up to a vertical position about three feet from the front of the garage.
After they successfully set up the first pole, they started to erect the second pole the same way.
However, as the two workers walked the pole up to a 45-degree angle, it slipped and tipped away from the garage toward a set of 20,800-volt power lines about 23 feet away. The worker on the roof was unable to stop the pole and let go of the rope just before the pole tipped into the power lines.
The two workers on the ground were still holding onto the pole as it slid along the energized lines and dropped into nearby trees. One of the workers was severely burned on his hands and feet. The other worker was electrocuted.