A Program of the IBEW Local 1245 Safety Committee
The primary purpose of this web page is to serve as a safety awareness tool for our members as well as others in the industry to share experiences that could have resulted in a reportable/recordable injury or property damage, but due to either the experience and/or the luck of the individual(s), no harm or damage occurred.
A near-miss or close call is a “second chance” or a “gift” and it is up to the individual who got the second chance to pass the information along so that everybody benefits from it. The next person walking down the same path may not be as fortunate. A near-miss that goes unreported is a wasted experience that could possibly have saved a life someday.
The near-miss could be the result of equipment failure, hardware failure, or unintentionally not following established safety rules.
All near-miss reports will be posted to this web page as received, with only minor editing if required for clarity or to maintain anonymity. It is important to note that the use of company computers for anything other than company business could result in disciplinary action so we strongly encourage the use of members’ personal computers when submitting anything to the Safety Committee.
You can also download the Close Call Reporting form here. Completed forms can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following archive of near-misses on the job is compiled by date, with the most recent entries listed first.
Got Outside Fall Zone
A two-man crew was working in a Walmart parking lot in the morning. Everything was set up well. The climber was dragging brush but he decided to go outside the cones, and almost got hit by a speeding car. Could have been prevented by not going outside the buffer area of the work site.
Una cuadrilla de dos hombres estaba trabajando en un estacionamiento de Walmart arrastrando las ramas, pero decidió salirse del área demarcada por los conos y casi lo atropelló un carro. Esto se hubiera podido prevenir si no se hubiera salido del área protegida en el sitio de trabajo.
Homeowner Almost Hit By Limb
Working between parking lot and residential homes, brush was falling in the back yard and homeowner did not know what work was being done. He came out and almost got hit by a limb. Next time, let homeowners know what is being done.
Estábamos trabajando entre un estacionamiento y unas residencias. Estaban cayendo ramas en el patio trasero y el propietario no sabía que estábamos realizando un trabajo. Salió y casi le golpeó una rama. La próxima vez, hay que informar a los propietarios sobre el trabajo que se está haciendo.
Communication Problem Almost Struck-by
Improper command and response system from climber to groundperson resulted in climber cutting a knob off and almost hitting groundperson in the back. Better three-way communication could have prevented this from happening.
Un sistema incorrecto de mando y respuesta entre el escalador y el operario de tierra ocasionó que el escalador cortara un nudo y casi golpeó al operario de tierra en la espalda. Esto se hubiera podido prevenir con un mejor sistema de comunicación de 3 vías.
Pulled Toward Chipper Wearing Gauntlet Glove
Gauntlet gloves being worn during the process of chipping brush caused the employee to lose balance and get tugged toward chute. Glove ripped off causing minor abrasion and tweak of wrist. This could have been prevented with proper fitting gloves around the wrist and loose articles of clothing.
Los guantes de protección que se utilizan durante el proceso de astillar ramas hicieron que un empleado perdiera el equilibrio y fuera halado hacia la tolva. El guante se rompió y resultó en una abrasión menor y una torcedura de la muñeca. Esto se hubiera podido evitar usando guantes del ajuste adecuado alrededor de la muñeca y no tener artículos de ropa sueltos.
Catastrophic Transformer Failure
On 6/20/2017, we had a NEAR HIT when a Troubleman re-set the secondary breaker on an underground Kuhlman Duplex Self Protected (SP) transformer. After re-setting the secondary breaker, the transformer catastrophically failed, sending hot oil and fire into the air. Fortunately this incident did not result in any serious injury to our employee or the public.
The event is currently under investigation; however we want to share what we know at this time. A Troubleman responded to a heat related outage and found an underground Horizontal Kuhlman Duplex SP transformer (square style handhole) with a tripped breaker. The troubleman reset the transformer using all appropriate PPE (hot sick with arc flash shield) and placed the lid back over the transformer. After resetting the transformer, the troubleman was confirming power was on. When he found the power was still off, he began to walk back over to the transformer when the explosion occurred. The lid of the enclosure was not dislodged; however the force of the explosion bent the lid and sent fire and oil into the air. The explosion blew out the side of the transformer.
While we do not know all of the details surrounding this incident, we are taking interim measures to protect employees until we are able to fully understand the nature of the failure. As a result, Kuhlman Duplex SP transformers are not to be reset in the field. The secondary breakers cannot be utilized to reset the transformer, regardless of the style of hand hole (square or round). Should employees encounter a tripped Kuhlman Duplex transformer in the field, they should immediately contact the DO to de-energize the equipment for replacement. Additional information will be provided regarding the operation of secondary breakers on the Kuhlman Duplex SP transformers once the nature of the failure has been determined.
Employee was at a job site looking at PM transformer and discovered the primary enclosure immediately in front of it had no bolts on the cover plates. This is a very serious potential hazard as this was in a residential area and someone could’ve easily pulled off a cover and made contact with primary wire.
Following Too Close
I was driving to a location on Delta Rd, as I was heading south on Sellers Ave another truck was driving too close behind me. The speed limit is 50MPH but I was at45-46 as the road is narrow and full of pot holes. At about 60 yards in front of me another car was pulling out of a rual driveway to head north. That driver at the last second noticed another pickup heading north and swerved into my lane. I slowed downed and tried to avoid but they pulled back into correct lane.
No Protected Left
While driving back from a field meeting, a wreck occurred before my eyes. It is an intersection that I am always afraid I will get into an MVI. Vehicles traveling southbound on Hazelwood do not have a protected left turn onto Butler Ave. So, vehicles traveling northbound on Hazlewood do not need to come to a stop at Butler Ave. Every time I drive this route and I see that there is another vehicle traveling southbound (against me), I slow down at the intersection for fear of us getting into an accident.
Look Out for Texting Drivers
While driving into the yard on I-5, a driver in the left lane veered over and came within a few inches of side-swiping me. When I looked over I noticed that the driver was texting while driving with only one hand and their eyes on the device.
I was heading West on I-80 about 10 miles outside of Sacramento in the 2nd most left lane going approximately 70 MPH. There was a car in the lane to my right that had its left blinker on for an unusually long time. Since it was 5 AM there were almost no cars on the road I assumed he forgot his blinker was on or he already would have changed lanes. However, just to be cautious, I preemptively checked my left hand blind spot to leave an out. As I was within 10′ of him he quickly changed lanes.
Double Trouble on 101
While traveling southbound on Highway 101 in the middle lane, in the span of 10 seconds two separate cars nearly hit my car while attempting to change lanes into my lane; one from the left side and one from the right. Neither one of them apparently saw my car, or they misjudged the distance that was required. Only the one from the left changed lanes. I had plenty of space in front and rear of my vehicle and I was able to anticipate them merging over and apply the brake safely.
Hit Guy and Shook Primary
A climber was in a 150’x 54” DBH redwood and was pulling overhangs. Trying to rush at the end of the day he did not pay attention to where the guy wire was, and decided to drop a limb. It hit the guy and shot out and almost hit the guy on the ground and almost took out the power. Contributing factors: Rushing, lack of communication and no established drop zone.
Un escalador estaba sobre una secoya de 45 m (150 pies) de altura y 1.4 m (54 pulg.) de diámetro a la altura del pecho (DBH) y estaba quitando las ramas salientes. Tratando de apresurarse al final del día, no se dio cuenta dónde estaba el cable de amarre y decidió dejar caer una rama. La rama le golpeó y rebotó, casi le pegó al trabajador que estaba en tierra y casi ocasionó una falla eléctrica. Factores que contribuyeron: Estar apurado, falta de comunicación y no había un área definida para la caída de las ramas cortadas.
Wood in Drop Zone Sent Flying
We were taking down a large pine tree that was about 80’ tall and 24” DBH. The climber hung a rope at approximately 70’ in the tree. He then came down to about 50’ and prepared to top the tree. We were at the end of the 120’ rope to pull the top in the right direction and when the climber topped the tree the top landed on a piece of wood approximately 3” around and 4′ long came flying by us at a high rate of speed but did not hit us.
Estábamos tumbando un gran pino de unos 24 m (80 pies) de altura y 60 cm (24 pulg.) de diámetro a la altura del pecho (DBH). El escalador colgó una cuerda de aproximadamente 21 m (70 pies) en el árbol. Nosotros estábamos al final de una cuerda de 36 m (120 pies), para tirar del tope del árbol en la dirección correcta. Cuando el escalador cortó el tope del árbol, este cayó sobre un trozo de madera de aproximadamente 8 cm (3 pulg.) de diámetro y 1.2 m (4 pies) de largo, que salió volando a alta velocidad hacia donde nosotros estábamos, pero no nos golpeó.
Good Catch-Kids Trying to Hitch to Cone Rack
I was taking lunch in the truck one day and when lunch was over I drove to the next location through a residential neighborhood. While driving through I saw in my side view mirror a few kids on bikes trying to grab a hold of the cone rack and take a ride. When I noticed that, I slowed down and came to a stop and told them not to do that and what was wrong with them.
Yo estaba almorzando en el camión un día, y después de almorzar, conduje el camión al siguiente lugar de trabajo, pasando por una zona residencial. Mientras conducía, vi a través del espejo lateral a varios niños en bicicletas tratando de agarrarse de la repisa donde están los conos, para que el camión los halara. Cuando me di cuenta, reduje la velocidad y detuve el camión, y les dije que no hicieran eso, y les pregunté cuál era su problema.
Kids in Drop Zone, Crew Caught it in Time
Working in town on a routine trim. Everything was all set up, signs out and drop zone was set up with cones like we are trained to do. Little did we know some kids were getting out of school. When I was ready to throw down a branch in the hole, I decided to look down and good thing I did because my foreman was on the opposite side of the truck and did not see a 10 year old kid with his bike in the drop zone right where I was going to drop the limb. I whistled to my foreman and there was another child and he was in the drop zone. The foreman walked them out of the drop zone and I still looked before dropping anything else.
Estábamos trabajando en la ciudad en una poda de rutina, todo estaba configurado, se habían colocado los avisos, y el área para la caída de ramas estaba señalada con conos, tal como nos lo han enseñado. Estaba listo para lanzar unas ramas al área designada cuando decidí mirar hacia abajo. Menos mal que lo hice porque mi capataz estaba en el lado opuesto del camión y no había visto a un niño de 10 años en su bicicleta que estaba en el área designada para la caída de ramas, justo donde yo iba a lanzar las ramas. Le silbé al capataz y había otro niño en el área de caída de ramas. El capataz los sacó del área y yo volví a mirar antes de lanzar nada.
Cutter Almost Hit by Tree Top
An employee was felling a tree with a “belly” in it on an uphill slope. Once the face cut was made he made the back cut. When the tree came over the cutter moved slightly to the left. Due to the belly of the tree once it came over it shot back over the stump about 2 feet from where he was standing and rolled over toward him, barely missing the cutter.
Un empleado estaba cortando un árbol con una protuberancia (“belly”) en una ladera cuesta arriba. Después de hacer el corte transversal, hizo el corte posterior. Cuando el árbol cayó, el cortador se movió un poco a la izquierda. Debido a la protuberancia, al caer el árbol rebotó sobre el tocón que estaba a unos 60 cm (2 pies) de donde estaba el cortador y rodó hacia él, y por poquito golpeó al cortador.
Top Slammed Tree
We were working out of town helping another division catch up on facility protects and removals. We were working three-man crews because of the nature of the work, we needed the third guy for roping and rigging. The foreman on the crew working the next span was on the top of the tree and he was yelling to the two employees on the ground to take only one wrap and let the tree top down slow because he didn’t want to be shaken out of the tree. When the foreman cut the top both men holding the top slammed up against the tree and one of the men let go of the rope. The weight pulled the other man up to the and the limb fell about 5 feet from him. The climber that let go claimed he had no gloves and could not hold on any longer.
Estábamos trabajando fuera de la ciudad ayudando a otra división a ponerse al día en proyectos de instalaciones y remociones. Estábamos trabajando con cuadrillas de tres personas porque debido al tipo de trabajo necesitábamos una tercera persona para ayudar con las cuerdas de amarre y aparejos. El capataz de la cuadrilla que trabajaba el siguiente tramo estaba en la parte superior del árbol y gritaba a los dos empleados en tierra que solo tomaran un “wrap” y bajaran lentamente el tope del árbol porque no quería caerse si el árbol se sacudía. Cuando el capataz cortó la parte superior, ambos hombres que sostenían la parte superior se estrellaron contra el árbol y uno de los hombres soltó la cuerda. El peso tiró del otro hombre hacia arriba y la rama cayó a unos 1.5 m (5 pies) de él. El escalador que soltó la cuerda declaró que no tenía guantes y no podía aguantar la cuerda por más tiempo.
Multiple crews were working in a extreme avalanche area during the peak of the January storm. The crews were in the process of fixing a downed 60kv line that was just taken destroyed by trees during a previous avalanche. After about 2-3 hours of snowshoeing and packing in material to fix the downed line, the 4 crews called it for the evening due to unsafe working conditions. Later that evening, another major avalanche took place in the very same location those four crews were working. No one was hurt during this near miss.
Knuckle Swings Into Traffic
Two linemen were going up in a bucket to clear a tree limb that was on the line. The guys were in a hurry to clear the limb and forgot to watch the knuckle of the boom. The groundman was busy getting chainsaw out and prepped when the knuckle was swinging into two-lane traffic. At that time, a cargo truck was passing. It was so close to hitting the passing truck, that the knuckle scraped the snow off the side of the truck. No one was hurt from near miss.
The event is currently under investigation; however we want to share what we know at this time. The Green Valley 2103 circuit experienced a fuse-level outage due to two separate cases of trouble. Two Crews were dispatched independently, one to each trouble location. Both trouble locations had a common source side device, FUCO 1641.
Full repairs were made at one location, while temporary isolation was performed at the second location. Communication into the Control Center was made at different times by each Crew and resulted in one Crew being given permission to close FUCO 1641 for restoration, while the second Crew called requesting to hold their own clearance from FUCO 1641 to end of line.
FUCO 1641 was closed by the first Crew, energizing conductor. There were no injuries associated with this event. A full review will be conducted – results of which and corrective actions to prevent recurrence will be shared with employees.
Tree Fell in the Wrong Direction
We were on the mountain, felling dry Class 3 trees. We roped some trees and cut them well, but when we were got to the last tree, we roped it up and we took a break. Then someone from the crew started to sharpen a chainsaw while the others decided to cut the tree. The tree did not fall in the direction where we had it roped, it fell towards the person sharpening the chainsaw. He ran and the tree fell on top of the chainsaw.
El miércoles 20 de noviembre de 2016 estábamos en la montaña tumbando árboles secos Clase 3. Amarramos unos árboles y los cortamos bien pero cuando íbamos a cortar el último árbol lo amarramos y tomamos un descanso. Entonces una persona de la cuadrilla se puso a afilar una motosierra mientras los demás decidimos cortar el árbol. El árbol no cayó hacia donde lo teníamos amarrado, si no que se dirigió hacia donde estaba la persona afilando la motosierra. Él corrió y el árbol cayó encima de la motosierra.
Blade Almost Cut Finger
I grabbed the pruner head hook from the back box and the rope got caught on the broom and rake. The blade almost cut my finger off if I would have pulled hard. The blade cut my glove instead.
Tomé la podadora de la caja trasera y la cuerda quedó atrapada en la escoba y el rastrillo. Si hubiera tirado fuertemente, la cuchilla casi me hubiera cortado el dedo. En cambio la cuchilla me cortó el guante.
Pit Bull Attack
Foreman and I walked up to gate for a set appointment. The home owner couldn’t control the Pit Bull. The gate opened and the Pit Bull rushed the gate before we got it closed. The Pit Bull snapped at my finger 3 times before the gate got closed.
El capataz y yo caminamos hasta el portón para fijar una cita. El dueño de la casa no podía controlar su pit bull. El portón se abrió y el pit bull corrió hacia el portón antes de que nosotros pudiéramos cerrarlo. El pit bull intento morderme el dedo 3 veces hasta que por fin pudimos cerrar el portón.
Could Have Cut Leg with Chainsaw
I was cutting 7 small trees about 6 inches, 17 to 25 feet tall. The trees were right by the chain link fence. I had the chainsaw on a pine and was ready to cut when my foreman told me to put on my chaps. I told him they were easy removals and I didn’t need them and it would take a few minutes to cut down the trees. He told me to put them on anyway in case the GF shows up. I put them on and walked back. I was about done cutting trees down next to the fence and on the next to last tree I clipped the fence and the chain saw kicked back and hit me below the knee and snagged on the chaps. No cut, I said “wow”, what if I didn’t have my chaps on!
Estaba cortando unos 15 cm (6 pulgadas) de 7 pequeños árboles de 5 a 7.5 metros de altura (17 a 25 pies). Los árboles estaban justo junto a la alambrada. Tenía la motosierra sobre un pino y estaba listo para cortar cuando mi capataz me dijo que me pusiera las chaparras. Le dije que la remoción era fácil y que no las necesitaba. Que solo tomaría unos minutos cortar los árboles. Me dijo que me las pusiera de todos modos en caso de que apareciera el Capataz General. Me las puse y regresé. Casi había terminado de cortar los árboles al lado de la valla y en el penúltimo árbol, corté un pedacito de la valla y la cerca de alambre rebotó y me golpeó debajo de la rodilla y se enganchó en las chaparras. No tuve cortaduras y dije “huy!”, ¡qué hubiera pasado si no hubiera tenido puestas las chaparras!
Loose German Shepherds
Had a work request and we were at the location to climb 5 trees. ACRT comments said we needed to climb over fence to get to trees. Once we got inside the property me and climber walked to trees and two big German Shepherds came running up to us. I told my climber not to panic and to stay still. Once the dogs got up to us they began to smell us and bark. Then two other German Shephard dogs showed up and we really began to worry. Good thing the owner called the dogs and we got out of the property safe. ACRT paperwork said nothing about dogs and there was no contact with the owner before entering the property. Good thing we got out safe!
Recibimos una solicitud de trabajo y fuimos al lugar para trepar 5 árboles. En los comentarios del ACRT decían que debíamos escalar la valla para llegar a los árboles. Ya dentro de la propiedad, el escalador y yo caminamos hacia los árboles y dos grandes perros pastor alemán corrieron hacia nosotros. Le dije a mi escalador que no entrara en pánico y que no se moviera. Cuando los perros se acercaron a nosotros, nos empezaron a oler y ladrar. Luego aparecieron otros dos perros pastor alemán y empezamos a preocuparnos seriamente. Afortunadamente el dueño llamó a los perros y pudimos salir de la propiedad a salvo.
Fue una mala decisión que la información de ACRT no dijera nada sobre los perros, y que no se hizo contacto con el dueño antes de entrar a su propiedad. ¡Menos mal que logramos salir a salvo!
Near Hit with Large Truck
Employee was traveling on 280 with high winds, in the 2nd lane, with a large truck in front of Employee. The Employee noticed it weaving. Instead of passing, the Employee decided to back off. Half way across bridge, the truck swerved over two lanes. If the Employee had passed, they would have been struck by the truck. Rain and wind are hazardous. Be cautious when driving.
Hazardous Driving Conditions
Employee was traveling in early morning in the dark on HWY 280. Employee changed lanes and went through a dip in the road containing water. The water came up on the Employee’s windshield and blinded the employee. When the windshield was clear, Employee saw a car that had spun around on the freeway, facing Employee. The 3rd party driver was on the side of the road. As the Employee continued on HWY 280, two more vehicles had spun around in the same fashion from being blinded by water flying out of the ditches. One of the vehicles the Employee observed had hit the median in the middle of the highway. Use caution and appropriate speed
Operations Traffic Control — Good Catch
On January 30, a Crew was backfilling open trenches. Traffic Control Employees were on site monitoring. Contractor was filling trench up with sand. Contractor pulled forward while releasing sand. Contract driver inched closer to bell hole which contractor did not notice. Traffic Control Crew yelled for driver to stop. Driver stopped and realized they were about to drive into the bell hole. Maintain 360 Degree Awareness of job site, not only in traffic but also what’s going on at the job site. Contractor driver thanked Traffic Control.
Vehicle Stranded in Ditch
Northern Crew was restoring power in blizzard conditions and found an occupied vehicle stranded in a ditch. The crew pulled the vehicle out of the ditch and the vehicle proceeded to leave the area while still attached to the crew truck, almost pulling the Company Truck into the ditch.
Wire Down, Good Catch
Spoils Employee identified a wire down in the GC Gas Vaca-Dixon yard near the wet spoils area. The Employee made the area safe by shutting down the wet spoils area and placing caution tape to create a safe zone. Notifications were made to management immediately and Electric Dispatch was called. The Electric Troubleman was onsite within about 30 minutes and made the area safe by removing the wire from the pole. The Troubleman stated that this was a 120v wire feeding a light and was making contact with a metal container. The Troubleman commended the employee for making the area safe. The Supervisor shared incident with the Central Ops – Spoils Employees. This was caused from storm activity the night before so we discussed always being aware of your surroundings and provided Gas and Electric Dispatch numbers in case of future emergencies.
Active Shooter Threat to Electric Crew- Central Coast
Active shooter last Saturday night. Three person electric crew was restoring power and an angry customer approached them. The customer threatened to shoot the crew and left the area going into one of the homes close by. The crew did not see which house the gunman entered. The crew called police and supervisor and the police stayed with the crew to protect them while completing work.
Gas Operations Near Hit
A small child was lost in Golden Gate Park and fell in the street. Traffic control employees were able to stop the child from going out into the street and re-united the child with it’s father a half mile away. Traffic control was very aware of their surroundings and acted appropriately and responsibly and most likely saved the child’s life.
Always Use a Flip Line
On some occasions I have seen that some climbers do not use flip lines all the time while climbing. This can cause temporary or irreparable injury to the worker if he is to fall. Injury or death can be a tragedy to the worker’s family. I remind everyone that it is important to use the flip line when working on small or large trees.
Check Meter in Secondary Box
Someone installed a check meter in a secondary box that wasn’t intended for that application. To use this meter the Homac bar boots have to be left down and the secondary box connections need to be sealed. The box was filled with water and the water was boiling at 130 degrees! This was a potential cross-phase and shock risk- not a good practice. To prevent this from happening don’t use this type of equipment in a way it’s not intended.
County Inspector Missed Dangerous Situation
Panel was tagged and ready to energize. Upon opening up panel crew found an aluminum meter ring tucked in behind buss bars sitting on top of insulated hot legs feeding customer side of panel. This panel had already been inspected by county inspector and passed. Recommend to check panel closely before energizing and don’t rely on county inspector to recognize dangerous situation.
Switches Without Partitions
Was going to hook up rotation meter onto old test switch. These type of switches were not installed with partitions and the test switch had no partitions to separate phases. I clamped on the clip to the first phase and went to hook up the second clip when the first clip laid over and hit the second phase causing a flash across the switch. To prevent this from happening could have hooked up the rotation meter before energizing to make sure it was secure or put some type of cover to stop contact. Also make sure the boot on the lead of the meter phase wire was covering the clip properly. Call for a test switch change out for safety reasons.
Panel Too High
Went to string 1/0 quad to a 75kva Tx 277/480v. Rung out riser and it checked ok. Panel was at 77″ from ground level, set meter and when refusing the third fuse the panel cross phased. From inspection, pieces of meter ring were found at the bottom of the panel. I think that an aluminum meter ring was behind the meter socket in the back of the panel out of sight. When I installed meter it fell across 2 phases. What could have been done to prevent this was to make thorough inspection of panel before hot up, report panels that are too high, this one was over 6 feet high! Ring out all of the panel for potential fault situation before hotting up. Stand clear of panel when energizing.
Primary Wire Across Live Slack Span on Road
I was the troubleshooter on a call Saturday at 0800 and was sent to a house with no power. Control Center had a relay at 0315 in the area and when I arrived found a 12kv OH transformer with broken 50A bushing mount cutouts hanging from primary on an alley arm. An AT&T employee flagged me down and reported he found our primary wire down across the road at another location and placed cones 8′ apart. He was concerned because people were driving over the wire and he thought about cutting the wire but wasn’t sure if he should. I had the CC open the feeder immediately to remove the wire from the roadway. My concern is that when feeders relay they should be patrolled right away. This primary wire was lying across a live slack span and on the road for 5.5 hrs!
Kill All Feeds First
We were doing switching for a car/pole with three possible feeds. We checked open fuses at one location and removed top side jumpers on cut-outs, checked open a switch at the second location and then went to open a neutral east of the switch because it was feeding through to an open delta on the same pole. Should have killed the line at the fuse pole because the opened neutral came off the hot line tap and swung into the hot cutout. Kaboom!! Lesson learned: Kill all of the feeds first, we were trying to keep people in power as long as possible and it was a big mistake.
Contributing factors: Time pressure/in a hurry, Unclear roles/goals/responsibilities, Changes/departure from routine, Complacency/Overconfidence, Taking shortcuts, Hazardous attitude toward task
Missed Jaw Tabs
Contractor crew set 480v meter but missed the jaw tabs on the right side of the meter base. The tab on the hot side of the meter did not make contact with the neutral jaw because of a plastic tab surrounding the jaw prevented contact. For this reason the meter did not display and I was called to look at the meter. I called a meter tech and de-energized the transformer bank. When the meter was pulled, it almost fell out of the socket and we found the poor installation. The foreman of the contract crew said the meter went in too easy and is usually much harder to install. To prevent this from happening again: Observe position of meter when installing, meter will not be positioned straight up when not seated in meter base jaws correctly. If the meter is not displaying, there is something wrong. Don’t leave until it is corrected. A possible trap was set for someone else.
Contributing factors: Complacency/Overconfidence, Taking shortcuts, Unfamiliar with task (training), Hazardous attitude toward task, Unexpected equipment conditions
Pole Top Split
While spreading primary 636 mcm AAC with 266 mcm neutral, the top four feet of the pole split out. The pole split enough to kick the quarter brace lag out of the temporary arm. Two wires to the north were spread to a hot arm. While preparing to move the south wires, the pole top split. Temporary spreader arm flipped with the north side falling down due to the weight. Arm flipped till it hit the south wires, which were still clipped in. Installed several split bolts and secured all wires and then installed new pole. Could have inspected pole better before beginning work. Install split bolt below temporary arm to prevent split.
Contributing factors: Changes/departure from routine, complacency/overconfidence, unexpected equipment conditions
Broken Elbow Probe
A probe on an elbow that was parked “hot” failed when installed into a pad mounted transformer to pick up load on 6 transformers. Flash came out of switch module to case ground and relayed 80A fuses at termination pole. The man at the transformer held the elbow in the clear until we opened up the remaining fuse at the pole.
Broken elbow probe was completely unexpected and had probably taken place at time of installation. Only prevention could have been inspection at time of install or be prepared for possibility while switching.
Contributing factors: Unexpected equipment conditions
Contractor was installing new switch gear on outside of building and working on existing panel inside of building. At termination pole, which was out of line-of-sight of project, I pulled fuses and hung on fuse pole and lifted high side jumpers. Contractor installed personal grounds on transformer primary side; due to construction there was no place to install at panel. Lock-out tag was placed on door and job proceeded as expected. At 15:30, meter shop arrived to install new CTs and test switch. At 16:30, I told meter tech to tell me when work was done and everyone “all clear”. At this time, I left to go to term pole and prep the pole to fuse in. Sometime later, meter tech came around the corner and said “all clear.” I yelled “coming hot” and close in fuses. A fault occurred and I opened remaining fuses and pulled high side jumpers. At the time of the fault, project manager was about to open pad mounted transformer door to remove secondary grounds. Transformer was inspected for damage and line was fused in without incident.
What could have been done to prevent the incident: Keep responsibility for the job with the project manager and inspect whatever I was energizing myself. This was my fault for not checking transformer and rest of job and relying on meter tech for all clear. Should have meggered transformer before re-energizing line after fault to detect possible fault condition. There was no tailboard when meter tech came on the job.
Contributing factors: Time pressure/in a hurry, Unclear roles/goals/responsibilities, Changes/departure from routine, Complacency/overconfidence, Taking shortcuts, Unfamiliar with task (training), Hazardous attitude toward task, Unexpected equipment conditions, Communications barriers
Improper Bolts Lead to Hoist Failure
Crew was lifting underground switch off of the trailer with a digger derrick using 5/8″ bolts screwed into the switch case. While lifting the switch, the hoist locked out with the switch about 1″ above the trailer. The switch dropped to the trailer when one bolt bent and the other flew out of the switch case. The switch and the trailer were not damaged. The crew was a four-man crew and they were seven hours into the job. Investigation showed 5/8″ galvanized bolts were not the proper bolts for lifting and failure of the hoist to lift was an indication load was too heavy. A review committee determined that tap and die should have been used to clean the bolt threads and lifting attachments are being ordered for similar loads.
Contributing Factors: Unexpected equipment conditions, unclear roles,/goals/responsibilities, taking shortcuts, complacency/overconfidence
Broken Wire Lands on Phone Line
While a line crew was removing an hot line clamp connector on energized #6 solid wire, the wire broke, landing on the phone line. There was a flagging crew nearby where the wire went down. The center phase fuse blew and the wire down remained hot due to backfeed. The crew foreman could not get to his truck because it was in the vicinity of the wire down. It was discussed that wire damage cannot always be seen under a hot line tap, but we need to remain aware of the potential for wire to break, especially copper wire.
Contributing factors: Complacency/Overconfidence, unfamiliar with task (training), hazardous attitude toward task, unexpected equipment conditions
Look Before You Exit Your Vehicle
I was on a trouble call for a report of mylar balloons in the 12kV. The feeder had relayed but came back on, and I pulled up and parked on the side of the road with lights and flashers on. I reached for a handheld flashlight from the back seat and a truck drove by at 35-40 mph and struck my drivers side mirror and kept going without stopping. I recommend checking the mirror for oncoming traffic before getting out. At the time of the incident I was checking for the best position for setting up my truck to check the line. I was in a neighborhood and had no cones out yet and there was no oncoming traffic before. The incident happened at 2345 hrs. on an overtime call and I had been working 17 hrs. previous to the incident.
Contributing factors: Unexpected equipment conditions, Traffic Control/Work zone not established
Cable Broke on Puller
Using UG equipment, we were pulling in 3 phases of 1000mcm into 850′ of conduit, termination to termination, no boxes in between. Pulled wire all the way through conduit and used digger boom to pull enough wire out of conduit for termination. Roller was approximately 40′ in the air when the cable on the puller broke at the crimp end by the swivel and the wire fell to the ground. No equipment damage and no one was injured. Lesson learned was inspect cable ends for wear or damage.
Contributing factors: departure from routine, overconfidence/complacency, unexpected equipment conditions
Pulling Eye Detached from Elbow
While plugging in elbows on a URD transformer (padmount), the pulling eye on the elbow completely detached from the back of the elbow. The circuit was 1/0 and the other phase was already plugged in. The pulling eye failed while lifting the elbow to plug it in. Work was being done with a 4 man crew on regular assignment after working for 5 hours. Safety equipment was provided and in use and there was no way to recognize the failure prior to it happening.
Boring Crew Hit Gas Line
A contractor boring crew that was boring for primary distribution hit a home gas line with a tractor next to a subsurface transformer. Boring crew foreman called the gas company and repairs were made within 2 hours. Boring crew foreman claimed gas was not marked. To prevent incidents such as this one, make sure service is marked. If it’s not marked, don’t dig.
Contributing factors: Time pressure, unclear roles/goals/responsibilities, departure from routine, taking shortcuts, hazardous attitude toward task, communication barriers
Pole Top Fell
We were a five man crew who showed up on a job location to replace a broken guy stub pole. While we were doing our tailboard we heard cracking and several people yelled “look out” and everybody ran away from the pole as the pole top fell to the ground. The guys were still attached and the break caused 2 circuits of 12kV to shake violently but there was no relay. We didn’t know if the vibration from the trucks pulling up caused the pole to fall. We talked about grabbing the pole with a digger during tailboard, but the pole fell before tailboard was over.
Contributing factors: Complacency/Overconfidence, Unexpected equipment conditions
Foreman Forgets Climb Line
Foreman was going to climb a big redwood to remove a couple of overhang limbs. The first limb was 45 feet up, and at about 35 feet the groundsman noticed the foreman did not take his climb line. Without the climb line he will not be able to free himself.
Contributing Factors: Distractions/ interruptions and not focusing on task.
El capataz olvidó la cuerda para escalar
El capataz iba a subir una secoya de gran tamaño para quitar unas ramas salientes. La primera rama estaba a una altura de 13.7 m (45 pies) y cuando había trepado hasta una altura de aproximadamente 10.6 m (35 pies) el operario de tierra se dio cuenta que el capataz no tenía una cuerda para escalar. Sin la cuerda para escalar no será capaz de liberarse.
Factores que contribuyeron: Distracciones/ Interrupciones y no centrarse en la tarea.
Chipper Tire Explodes
A crew noticed a chipper tire was low and asked the GF to look at it. He kicked the tire and said it looked ok but he said he would have a mechanic take a look. The mechanic never looked at it and about two weeks later the chipper tire exploded on the freeway. Crew said it scared them, and they thought a bomb went off. The damage was to the chipper tire rim and wheel well was severely damaged.
Contributing Factors: Complacency/Overconfidence. Unexpected equipment conditions.
El neumático de la astilladora explotó
Una cuadrilla observó que a la llanta de la astilladora le faltaba aire y le pidió al capataz general que la revisara. Él pateó la llanta y dijo que parecía que estaba bien pero que le pediría a un mecánico que le echara un vistazo. El mecánico nunca la revisó y unas dos semanas más tarde la llanta de la astilladora explotó en la autopista. Los miembros de la cuadrilla dijeron que se asustaron y pensaron que había estallado una bomba. La rueda y la llanta de la astilladora sufrieron serios daños.
Factores que contribuyeron: Falta de atención/Exceso de confianza. Equipo en condiciones inesperadas.
Tree Falls Unexpectedly
We were working on a CEMA project. We were falling some trees, climbing and topping them using pull ropes. In the same span there were six trees marked to fall. We were climbing the trees and rigging them to fall and while we did that the fourth tree fell by itself and took out the PG&E lines. What would happen if we were in the tree when it fell I may not be writing this close call. .A fire went through this area and it is hard to tell if the trees are sound or not. We need to inspect trees, pound on them and hear if it is solid or punky and we can’t tell by looking at the tree.
Contributing Factors: High workload, drought related conditions.
Un árbol cae inesperadamente
Estábamos trabajando en un proyecto CEMA. Estábamos derribando unos árboles, los trepábamos y derribamos con cuerdas de tracción. En la misma sección de la línea eléctrica había seis árboles marcados para ser derribados. Estábamos trepando los árboles y preparándolos para ser derribados, y mientras hacíamos esto el cuarto árbol cayó por sí mismo y ocasionó la interrupción de la línea eléctrica de PG&E. ¿Qué hubiera pasado si hubiéramos estado en el árbol cuando cayó? Yo no estaría escribiendo este reporte. Hubo un incendió en la zona y es difícil saber si los árboles están en buenas condiciones o no. Es necesario inspeccionar los árboles, golpearlos y escuchar si están sólidos o no, y esto no se puede saber solamente con mirarlos.
Factores que contribuyeron: Alta carga de trabajo, condiciones de sequía.
Dead Tree Risk
Climber was removing a dead tree that was grown into another tree that was still green and not to be removed. The climber was taking out limb by limb and when he got to the limb that was grown into the other tree he did not know the pressure on the limb. When he cut the dead limb the green limb broke off and the dead tree fell over. The climber was tied to the green tree so he was safe.
Riesgo de árbol seco
El escalador estaba retirando un árbol seco que había crecido sobre otro árbol que todavía estaba verde y que no debía ser retirado. El escalador estaba retirando rama por rama, y cuando llegó a la rama que había crecido sobre el otro árbol no sabía cuál era la presión de la rama. Al cortar la rama seca, la rama verde se rompió y el árbol seco cayó al suelo. El escalador estaba atado al árbol verde por lo que estaba a salvo.
Missed Foreman By a Foot
A climber that was not used to working out of a lift truck was removing an overhang by cutting small limbs and throwing them into the drop zone. When most of the overhang was removed he was able to cut bigger pieces and let them fall. Once piece got caught on the pruner pole that was hanging on the side of the bucket and was knocked loose, falling out of the drop zone. It almost hit the crew foreman that was sharpening his chainsaw, missed him by a foot.
Contributing factors: Distractions/Interruptions, complacency/overconfidence, not securing tools properly.
Capataz se salvó por 30 cm.
Un escalador que no estaba acostumbrado a trabajar desde una pluma estaba retirando una rama que colgaba sobre una línea, cortando ramas pequeñas y tirándolas en la zona de caída de ramas. Cuando había retirado la mayor parte pudo empezar a cortar trozos más grandes y dejarlos caer. Un trozo se atascó en la podadora que estaba colgada en el lado del cubo y la soltó, cayendo fuera de la zona de caída de ramas. Casi golpeó al capataz de la cuadrilla que estaba afilando su motosierra, el capataz se salvó por 30 cm (1 pie).
Factores que contribuyeron: Distracciones/Interrupciones, falta de atención/exceso de confianza, no proteger adecuadamente las herramientas.
Climbing line not long enough
My close call happened when I was trimming a redwood of approximately 120 feet tall and 45 feet wide. Everything was going as we had planned in the job briefing at the beginning of the day. I finished trimming the tree in a professional way. The incident started when I started to descend the tree. My climbing line was not long enough and didn’t reach the ground. So I have to move my anchoring point again at approximately the middle of the tree. I used the main trunk and a lateral limb of about 4 DBH, but slightly tilted down. When I started to slide down, at about 20 feet, I looked up and saw that my rope had slid over the limb in a dangerous way, and was at risk of breaking the limb. I used my lanyard and my spurs to quickly hold on to the main trunk. If I had continued descending the tree, the branch would have probably broken and a fatal accident would have occurred.
Contributing factors: Complacency/overconfidence.
Cuerda de trepar demasiado corta
Mi accidente potencial ocurrió cuando estaba podando una secuoya de aproximadamente 36.5 m (120 pies) de alto y 13.7 m (45 pies) de ancho. Todo iba como lo habíamos planeado en la reunión de trabajo al inicio de la jornada. Terminé de podar el árbol de una manera profesional. El incidente comenzó cuando comencé a descender del árbol. Mi cuerda de trepar era demasiado corta y no llegaba al suelo. Así que tuve que mover mi punto de amarre nuevamente, aproximadamente a la mitad del árbol. Usé el tronco principal y una rama lateral de aproximadamente 4 DAP, pero ligeramente inclinada hacia abajo. Cuando me comencé a deslizar, a unos 6 m (20 pies), miré hacia arriba y vi que mi cuerda se había deslizado sobre la rama de una manera peligrosa, y la rama estaba en peligro de romperse. Yo usé mi cuerda de amarre y las espuelas para sujetarme rápidamente al tronco principal. Si hubiera seguido descendiendo el árbol de esa manera, la rama seguramente se habría roto y hubiera ocurrido un accidente fatal.
Factores que contribuyeron: Falta de atención/Exceso de confianza
I was exiting a climb truck and my right foot got caught on the step and made me stumble. I almost fell with no control. It’s easy to make a bad step.
Yo salía de un camión de ascenso y mi pie derecho quedó atrapado en el escalón y me hizo tropezar. Casi me caí sin control. Es fácil dar un mal paso.
Dog Looking for a Meal?
Close call about a dog that got loose in the yard. We were in the middle of trimming a tree when the homeowner wanted to ask a question and her German Shepard looking dog got out and circled my climber in an aggressive manner. The climber kept calm and was able to keep the dog at bay by placing a branch between him and the dog. Home owner kept saying dog wouldn’t bite but dog looked and acted like he wanted a taste of tree trimmer. Home owner finally lured the dog back inside without dog tasting the ground guy.
¿Un perro en busca de comida?
Un accidente potencial con un perro que se soltó en el patio. Estábamos en medio de podar un árbol cuando el dueño de la casa nos quiso hacer una pregunta y su perro, que parecía un perro pastor alemán, se salió y comenzó a hacer círculos alrededor de mi escalador de una manera agresiva. El escalador mantuvo la calma y fue capaz de mantener a raya al perro colocando una rama entre él y el perro. El dueño de la casa no paraba de decir que el perro no mordía perro, pero parecía y actuaba como si quisiera probar un pedazo del podador de árboles. El dueño de la casa finalmente hizo que el perro entrara a la casa sin que tuviera chance de probar al operario de tierra.
My climber was up in a tree when he said it was raining. I said “how, there’s not a cloud in the sky.” I stopped to see what he was talking about when I noticed something in the tree. It was a raccoon and it was so scared it was pissing on him! I told him come down before you get bit.
¿Lluvia de mapache?
Mi escalador había subido a un árbol cuando dijo que estaba lloviendo. Le dije: “¿Cómo puede ser si no hay ni una nube en el cielo?.” Me detuve a ver de lo que estaba hablando cuando me di cuenta de algo en el árbol. Era un mapache y estaba tan asustado ¡que estaba orinando sobre él! Le dije que bajara antes que el mapache lo mordiera.
Foreman Forgets Plan
Two tree crews working together removing large trees when they came up with a plan to remove the limbs off of the back tree to make a clear fall path for the other tree to be topped. The crew then took their lunch break. After lunch the foreman went up in the bucket to top the tree but he did not remove the limbs from the back tree first. He put his face cut into the tree but before he started his back cut a crew member stopped him. If he had made his back cut the top would have sprung back and taken him, the power line and the truck out. Good example of “see something, say something.”
El capataz olvidó el plan
Dos cuadrillas de árboles estaban trabajando juntas removiendo árboles de gran tamaño cuando se les ocurrió un plan para remover las ramas del árbol de atrás para limpiar un camino para la caída del otro árbol que debía ser derribado. La cuadrilla tomó entonces su hora de almuerzo. Después del almuerzo el capataz subió en el cubo hasta el tope del árbol pero no retiró las ramas del árbol de atrás. Hizo el corte transversal en el árbol pero antes de hacer el corte posterior un miembro de la cuadrilla le detuvo. Si el corte posterior, el tope del árbol hubiera caída hacia atrás y lo hubiera golpeado y además se hubiera llevado la línea eléctrica y el camión. Este es un buen ejemplo de “si ve algo, diga algo”.
Flip Line Almost Cut
The climber was 120 feet up a tree removing the top a porta wrap devise was being used. The porta wrap was secured to the base of the tree intended to be used to lower branches and then the top. When the climber topped the tree the groundman allowed the top to fall 20 feet before stopping the top causing the tree to shake violently without checking with the climber the groundman proceded to allow the top to rapidly descend to the ground. During this process the work rope was in contact with the climber’s safety (flip line). There was a great deal of friction from the work rope going passed the safety and it caused the safety to be burned leaving less than one strand of the safety holding the climber in the tree. The climber did have another safety in the tree but it was also damaged by the work rope.
No one was injured although there were words.
There are several things that almost caused a serious accident or fatal accident.
- The groundman should have had better control of the work rope.
- The groundman should have communicated with the climber before lowering the top.
- The top should have been lowered much more slowly.
- The climber should have been more careful where he placed his safety although he may have been unable to find a better place for his safety.
- Possibly over reliance on your co-workers both in the tree and on the ground.
Communication communication communication.
Casi se cortó el salvarramas (flip line)
El escalador fue estaba en un árbol a 36.5 m (120 pies) de altura retirando la copa del árbol. Estaba utilizando un “port-a-wrap”, que estaba fijado a la base del árbol, con la intención de usarlo primero en las ramas más bajas y luego en la copa del árbol. Cuando el escalador derribó el árbol, el operario de tierra dejó que la copa cayera 6 m (20 pies) antes de detenerla, lo que hizo que el árbol se sacudiera violentamente. Sin verificar primero con el escalador, el operario de tierra permitió que la copa del árbol descendiera rápidamente hasta el suelo. Durante este proceso, la cuerda de trabajo estaba en contacto con la cuerda de seguridad del escalador (salvarramas). Una gran cantidad de fricción pasó de la cuerda de trabajo a la cuerda de seguridad, lo que ocasionó que la cuerda de seguridad se quemara, de manera que solamente quedó una hebra en la cuerda de seguridad aguantando al escalador en el árbol. El escalador tenía otra cuerda de seguridad en el árbol, pero esta también se daño por la cuerda de trabajo.
Nadie se lesionó aunque sí hubo un intercambio de insultos.
Varias cosas sucedieron que casi causaron un accidente grave o fatal.
- El operario de tierra debería haber tenido un mejor control de la cuerda de trabajo.
- El operario de tierra debería haberse comunicado con el escalador antes de hacer bajar el tope del árbol.
- El tope del árbol se ha debido bajar mucho más lentamente.
- El escalador debería haber tenido más cuidado al decidir dónde colocar su cuerda de seguridad, aunque quizás no haya podido encontrar un mejor lugar para colocarla.
- Posible exceso de confianza en sus compañeros de trabajo, tanto en el árbol como en tierra.
Comunicación, comunicación, comunicación
Storm Call Awareness/Fire Season
On Wednesday May 18, 2016 around 9pm a two man crew was called out on a storm call to Covelo for an oak tree that contacted the power lines. (Tree Specifics – 50 ft. tall, 18in D.B.H. Healthy Green Oak)
When the tree crew arrived at the location of the storm call, the oak had sagged the lines and crossed both phases. Heavy tension (hazard) was on the lines by the weight of the oak. The poles also had heavy tension which was identified as a hazard for PG&E and the Tree Crew. When the oak failed, it split down the center. When the oak made contact with the lines it must have arced prior to blowing the fuses. The lines energized the oak from where it contacted lines to the base of tree. This caused a slow fire to start on the ground and in the oak. Cal Fire responded to the fire.
The oak became energized and carried an electrical current. It became an electrical conductor through direct contact with the lines. PG&E grounded the lines (DIG), and Tree Crew was able to use rigging/block to support tension on the powerlines and cut the oak off the lines safely with a pole saw. They would have been in the bite of the rigging if they had not had a pole saw.
This was a healthy, green, live tree and was painted blue for a Reliability (PS&R) project. This was an oak that someone was going to climb! Do an inspection! Prior to any climb, a climber shall perform a tree assessment. Check for defects; root collar inspection, trunk, dead limbs or branches, sap ooze, cracks, lightning damage, bark, weak attachments, cavities, conks, cankers/galls/ burls, size of branches(weight), lean, soil heaving, saturated soils, root decay, mushrooms, slope of terrain or likelihood of failure for that tree.
If you believe a tree is unsafe to climb… Speak up! Get a second opinion on the safest way to achieve accurate trim.
Share this information with the crews, let it be a reminder and enhance awareness that even healthy trees can fail and to inspect all trees prior to the start of the climb.
Comunicación sobre Accidentes Potenciales/ Accidentes Evitados
El miércoles 18 de mayo de 2016, alrededor de las 9 p.m., se llamó a una cuadrilla de dos personas para atender un trabajo debido a tormentas en Covelo, para podar un roble que había hecho contacto con los cables de electricidad. (Información sobre el árbol – Altura: 15.25 m (50 pies); DAP: 45.75 cm (DBH: 18 pulg); roble verde y sano)
Cuando la cuadrilla de podadores llegó a la ubicación del trabajo relacionado con la tormenta, el roble había caído sobre ambas fases, y su peso hizo que los cables se hundieran. Los cables estaban sometidos a una gran tensión (peligro) debido al peso del roble. Los postes también estaban sometidos a una gran tensión, lo cual fue identificado como un peligro para PG&E y para la cuadrilla de podadores. Cuando el roble falló, se partió por el centro. Cuando el roble hizo contacto con las líneas debe haber creado un arco eléctrico antes de que se abrieran los interruptores. El roble recibió una descarga eléctrica de los cables en el punto donde los cables hicieron contacto con la base del árbol. Esto provocó un lento incendio en el terreno y en el roble. Cal Fire se presentó en el lugar para controlar el incendio.
El roble se convirtió en un conductor eléctrico cuando hizo contacto directo con los cables. PG&E conectó los cables a tierra (DIG), y la cuadrilla de podadores pudo utilizar el equipo de grúa y bloqueo para liberar la tensión que existía sobre los cables eléctricos y cortar el roble que estaba sobre las líneas eléctricas de forma segura, con una sierra de pértiga. Si no hubieran tenido una sierra de pértiga, hubieran tenido que subir a la grúa y corrían peligro de sufrir una lesión grave si la tensión de los cables o del poste cedía mientras estaban en la grúa.
Cuadrillas, este era un árbol verde, sano, con pintura azul para un proyecto de confiabilidad (PS&R). ¡Alguien iba a trepar este árbol! ¡Hagan una inspección previa! Antes de trepar, el escalador debe hacer una evaluación del árbol. Verifique que no tiene defectos; inspeccione el cuello de la raíz, el tronco, que no haya ramas muertas, rezume de savia, grietas, daño por rayos, inspeccione la corteza, las ramas débiles, las cavidades, cancros, agallas, nudos, el tamaño de las ramas (peso), si el suelo está agitado, suelos saturados, putrefacción de las raíces, hongos, inclinación del terreno o la probabilidad de que el árbol falle.
Si usted cree que el árbol no es seguro para trepar… ¡Dígalo! Obtener una segunda opinión es la forma más segura de lograr una poda precisa.
Comparta esta información con las cuadrillas, para que sea un recordatorio y para que ayude a mejorar los conocimientos de que inclusive los árboles sanos pueden fallar, y que todos los árboles deben ser inspeccionados antes de comenzar a trepar.
Topping Tree Without Pull Line
We were doing removals when one guy took it upon himself not to put a rope on a sugar pine that was 50-60 ft. He made the pie cut and then began to make the back cut and the tree started to go back toward the lines, trapping the chainsaw. They had to go back to the truck to get the throw ball and tied the rope to the tree. Luckily nobody got hurt.
Tumbando un árbol sin usar la línea de tiro
Estábamos removiendo ramas cuando uno de los trabajadores decidió no colocar una soga en un pino de azúcar de 15-18 metros de altura. Hizo el corte tipo cuña y luego comenzó a hacer el corte trasero. El árbol comenzó a caer hacia atrás, hacia las líneas eléctricas, y la sierra quedó atrapada. Tuvieron que regresar al camión para buscar la bola de peso y colocar la línea de tiro. Afortunadamente nadie resultó herido.
Crew Makes Safe Call on Windy Day
We were two crews working on a remove 80 ft. tree. We were roping the limbs because it was windy. The wind was so strong and the limb so close to the primaries we stopped to call our supervisor. We came back on another day to finish the job.
La cuadrilla toma la decisión de seguridad correcta en un día con mucho viento
Dos cuadrillas estábamos trabajando para remover un árbol de 24 metros de altura. Estábamos colocando sogas en la ramas porque hacía mucho viento. El viento era demasiado fuerte y las ramas estaban demasiado cerca de las líneas primarias, así que detuvimos el trabajo y llamamos a nuestro supervisor. Regresamos otro día a terminar el trabajo.
Fell on Chainsaw
While carrying a chainsaw worker slipped on some loose rock and fell forward on the bar and chain of the saw. He fell across his stomach but luckily had small cuts and bruises.
Cayó sobre una sierra
Un trabajador que llevaba una sierra se resbaló en unas piedras sueltas y cayó hacia adelante sobre la barra y la cadena de la sierra. Cayó sobre su estómago y afortunadamente solo sufrió unas pequeñas cortadas y moretones.
Almost Hit by Truck
A 52’ truck and trailer was making a sharp turn and came into our lane to make his turn. My foreman didn’t plan for this and tried to continue going straight. The trailer almost clipped our front end when it impeded our lane trying to complete the turn. It all happened very fast without notice on a blind turn.
Casi nos golpeó un camión
Un camión con un tráiler de 15 metros estaba efectuando una vuelta cerrada y se pasó a nuestro carril para hacer el giro. Mi capataz no esperaba esto y trató de continuar recto. El tráiler casi golpeó la parte de adelante de nuestro camión al bloquear nuestro carril para completar la vuelta. Todo sucedió muy rápido, sin aviso, en una curva ciega.
Didn’t Recognize Primary Line
Me and my climber went to do a elm tree and when we got there the climber said he would do the job. When he was climbing up toward the lines he got within 5 to 6 ft. and he thinks it is a secondary line. I told him “no it’s a primary line” and not to go between the lines. He stops and looks again and notices that it was a primary line.
No reconoció una línea primaria
Mi trepador y yo fuimos a trabajar en un olmo. Cuando llegamos al árbol, el trepador dijo que él haría el trabajo. Cuando comenzó a trepar se acercó a 1.5 – 1.8 metros de distancia de las líneas pensando que eran líneas secundarias. Le dije: “no, es una línea primaria” y que no se acercara a las líneas. Se detuvo para observarlas de nuevo y se dio cuenta que era una línea primaria.
Upset Crew Almost Has Disaster
Doing bucket work on a busy street and the foreman is upset with the climber and they are not speaking to each other. It was a locust tree that was inches away from the primaries. When the crew was all set the foreman went up in the bucket and started trimming while the climber was stacking brush. The climber looks up and sees the primaries swaying from side to side almost touching each other, nearly causing an outage. When the climber sees it he immediately jumps out of the way and asks what happened. The foreman said a branch hit the primaries. The foreman was right under the lines and was very lucky they did not touch.
Una cuadrilla enojada casi sufre un desastre
Se estaba ejecutando un trabajo desde una canasta en una calle muy concurrida, el capataz estaba disgustado con el trepador y no le dirigía la palabra. Era una acacia que estaba a unos pocos centímetros de las líneas primarias. Cuando la cuadrilla estaba lista, el capataz subió a la canasta y comenzó a podar mientras el trepador recogía las ramas. El trepador miró hacia arriba y vio que las líneas primarias se estaban moviendo de un lado a otro, casi se tocaban y podrían haber causado un apagón. Al ver esto, el trepador saltó a un lado inmediatamente y preguntó qué había pasado. El capataz le dijo que una rama golpeó una línea primaria. El capataz estaba justamente debajo de las líneas y tuvo mucha suerte que las líneas no hicieran contacto entre sí.
Chipper Chute Disconnected
I was working on the chip truck and when we left the jobsite we forgot to check the chute. It was spinning as we traveled and could have hit someone. Luckily we were only driving a couple of hundred yards to the next pile.
Desconectar la tolva de la astilladora
Yo estaba trabajando en el camión de la astilladora. Cuando nos fuimos del lugar de trabajo se nos olvidó inspeccionar la astilladora. Siguió girando mientras conducíamos y hubiera podido golpear a alguien. Afortunadamente solamente recorrimos unos pocos centenares de metros hasta la siguiente pila de madera.
Crew Dropped and Removed Limb From Primary
A crew requested a line kill to remove an overhang over the primaries. No line kill was arranged. The worker could not stand or walk on the limb so it had to be tied in and cut back to the trunk. The limb was still too big for human rigging. The limb got stuck in the primaries and the crew had no other choice than to climb into the lines and remove the limb.
La cuadrilla dejó caer una rama sobre la línea primaria y la removió
Una cuadrilla solicitó que se desenergizara una línea eléctrica para poder remover una rama que colgaba sobre la línea. La solicitud no se procesó. El trabajador no podía pararse ni caminar sobre la rama, de manera que tuvo que amarrarla y cortarla. La rama era demasiado grande y no podría ser cargada solamente por los trabajadores. La rama se atascó en las líneas primarias y la única opción de la cuadrilla fue trepar a las líneas para remover la rama.
Flip Line Worn Out
Foreman was about to climb a tree and I was checking his equipment. I saw his flip line was old and wearing thin so he twisted the flip line in the opposite direction and then the flip line tore in two after a few twists. His flip line should have been replaced long before.
Yo estaba inspeccionando el equipo de un capataz que iba a trepar un árbol. Observé que su eslinga (“flip line”) estaba vieja y gastada. Él torció la eslinga en la dirección contraria y se rompió en dos después de unas pocas vueltas. La eslinga debería haber sido reemplazada hace mucho tiempo.
Bad Communication Causes Shock
While working in a storm with PG&E the tree crew was on stand-by waiting form the ok from PG&E to remove the top of a pine tree that was hung up on the power lines. After waiting an hour a different PG&E crew came to the tree crew and gave them the ok to remove the pine off the lines. As the climber was starting to climb this tree he could feel a tingling sensation from the limb so he stopped and walked away from the tree. As he did the first PG&E crew came and said to the tree crew that the lines were live. Should have never taken the word of another crew.
Comment: Communication started with the first crew and should end with the first crew. Never make contact with a tree in the primary unless the utility tells the crew the line is checked de-energized, grounded and given the ok to go to work.
Una mala comunicación ocasionó un shock
Una cuadrilla de podadores estaba trabajando con PG&E durante una tormenta, esperando la aprobación de PG&E para remover la copa de un pino que estaba colgando de las líneas eléctricas. Después de una hora llegó otra cuadrilla diferente de PG&E y autorizó a la cuadrilla de podadores a que retiraran el pino de la línea eléctrica. Cuando el trepador comenzó a subir al árbol sintió un cosquilleo a través de la rama, de modo que se detuvo y se alejó del árbol. En ese momento la primera cuadrilla de PG&E llegó y le dijo a la cuadrilla de podadores que las líneas estaban energizadas. No han debido hacerle caso a una cuadrilla diferente.
Comentario: La comunicación se inició con la primera cuadrilla y debería finalizar con la primera cuadrilla. Nunca hagan contacto con un árbol sobre una línea primaria a menos que la empresa de electricidad le confirme a la cuadrilla de podadores que ha verificado que la línea está desenergizada, conectada a tierra y que tienen la autorización de ejecutar el trabajo.
Boom in the Air Contacts Primary
While driving a bucket truck the boom was still up as the driver pulled forward (commonly the second person rides on the bins) As they pulled forward the boom contacted the primary lines. Luckily this time only the driver was on or in the vehicle.
La pluma de una grúa en el aire hace contacto con la línea primaria
El conductor de un camión con canasta movió el camión hacia adelante cuando la pluma todavía se encontraba en el aire (generalmente hay otra persona dentro de la canasta). Cuando el camión se movió, la pluma hizo contacto con las líneas primarias. Afortunadamente en esta oportunidad el conductor era el único que estaba dentro o sobre el vehículo.
Crew Threat and Gunshot
A tree crew had completed work when the customer told a crew member to get off his property and threatened to kill the crew and bury them on his property. The crew decided to leave and as they were exiting the property they heard a gunshot. The crew was not certain if a gun was fired at them, however they immediately called law enforcement to report the incident. The Sheriff’s Department responded immediately and took the customer into custody.
Note: The crew acted appropriately by calling law enforcement when a threat was made to their safety
Amenaza a la cuadrilla y disparo
Una cuadrilla de árboles había completado su trabajo cuando el cliente le dijo a uno de los miembros de la cuadrilla que saliera de su propiedad, y amenazó con matar a la cuadrilla y enterrarlos en su terreno. La cuadrilla decidió irse y al marcharse escucharon un disparo. Los miembros de la cuadrilla no sabían si el disparo había sido dirigido hacia ellos, pero inmediatamente llamaron a las autoridades competentes para informar sobre el incidente. El departamento del sheriff respondió inmediatamente y se llevó al cliente bajo custodia.
Nota: La cuadrilla actuó correctamente llamando a las autoridades competentes al recibir amenazas contra su seguridad
Not Descending Properly Causes Fall
Watched very experienced climber/foreman remove redwood. He started de-limbing bottom up, cut the top section out, then he threw climb rope around trunk. He kicked out to slide down on knot and the rope came off the trunk as he starts the descent and then he free falls. I though he was going to hit the ground with his back because he was falling horizontal. At the last second he lands on his feet. He should have come down with his secondary tie in flip line.
Cayó por no descender correctamente
Observé a un trepador/capataz con mucha experiencia remover una secoya. Comenzó quitando las ramas desde abajo hacia arriba, cortó la sección de la copa, luego lanzó una soga de trepar alrededor del tronco. Comenzó a deslizarse hacia abajo en el nudo y cuando comenzó el descenso la soga se salió del árbol, y cayó en caída libre. Pensé que iba a caer de espaldas porque estaba cayendo en posición horizontal. A último momento aterrizó con los pies. Se ha debido amarrar también a una eslinga para bajar.
Working Conditions with New Person
Working in the rain is dangerous and working with new employee in the rain is extra dangerous. I feel that it is a close call to work with inexperienced person in bad weather conditions. I feel it should be a three man crew when weather is bad.
Condiciones de trabajo con una persona nueva
Trabajar bajo la lluvia es peligroso, y trabajar bajo la lluvia con un nuevo empleado es aún más peligroso. Pienso que es un accidente potencial trabajar cuando hay mal clima con una persona que no tiene experiencia. Considero que la cuadrilla debería tener tres miembros cuando hay malas condiciones atmosféricas.
Inspection May have Caught Equipment Failure
I was cutting down a big oak tree with a pulley system and used a piece of bull rope to tie pulley to the oak tree. Everything was fine with this set-up the first day. The next day I was using the same piece I was using the day before but didn’t check it, thought it was ok. While using it the rope broke and the log fell missing the truck by inches. When I inspected the rope it had a nick in the rope where it broke. Inspect equipment every time before use and look for changes in condition of equipment.
Una inspección previa podría haber detectado el daño al equipo
Estaba cortando un roble de gran tamaño usando un sistema de poleas y amarré la polea al roble con una soga de tracción (“bull rope”). Este sistema funcionó correctamente el primer día. Al día siguiente utilicé la misma soga pero no la inspeccioné, pensé que estaba en buenas condiciones. La soga se rompió al usarla y el tronco cayó muy cerca del camión. Después, al inspeccionar la soga, observé que tenía un corte en el lugar por donde se rompió. Todo el equipo se debe inspeccionar cada vez que se vaya a usar para verificar que no haya cambios en las condiciones en que se encuentra el equipo.
Foreman Cuts Climbers Clothes
A foreman was cutting a stump while the climber was pushing it over. As the foreman cut through the stump the chain saw cut the climbers pant leg and sock. The two were working too close together.
Capataz corta el pantalón de un trepador
Un capataz se encontraba cortando un tocón mientras un trepador empujaba el tocón. Al efectuar el corte, la sierra cortó también el pantalón y el calcetín del trepador. El capataz y el trepador se encontraban demasiado cerca el uno del otro.
Automatic Sleeve Failed
There was a circuit interruption when an automatic sleeve failed on 4 ACSR as crew was laying out the wire a span away. In the future, we are to remove automatic sleeves for pressed sleeves. Also, we are to use preform ties on #6 copper on adjacent poles when moving the wire. Had a safety stand down today and discussed mitigating hazardous potentials. We are now required to use preforms on #6 copper, and no more hand ties to prevent slipping when moving wire.
Fell Into Gulley
There were two crews working in the mountains together and at the end of the day we picked up our gear and started walking back toward our trucks. A crew member saw barbed wire on the path and said “be careful.” One member did not hear and tripped and fell down a gulley. Luck he did not get hurt falling down. This was a close call because it was steep.
Cayó en una zanja
Dos cuadrillas se encontraban juntas ejecutando trabajos en las montañas y al finalizar la jornada recogimos nuestro equipo y comenzamos a caminar de regreso a nuestros camiones. Un miembro de la cuadrilla vio un alambre de púas en el camino y nos avisó “tengan cuidado”. Un miembro no lo escuchó y se tropezó y cayó en una zanja. Afortunadamente no se lastimó al caer. Esto hubiera podido ser un accidente porque el camino era muy empinado.
Yell Saved Partner From Falling Limb
We were doing a removal. When the tree was falling it struck another tree, breaking some limbs off the side. I yelled at my partner to move because the limbs were coming at him. If it wasn’t for me yelling he would have been hit by the falling limbs.
Mis gritos salvaron a mi compañero de ser golpeado por una rama cayendo
Nos encontrábamos removiendo un árbol. Cuando el árbol cayó, golpeó otro árbol y algunas ramas laterales se rompieron. Le grité a mi compañero que se moviera porque las ramas le iban a caer encima. Si yo no le hubiera gritado, hubiera sido golpeado por las ramas.
Keep Safety Glasses On
It is very common for some of our brother fellow workers to not put on their safety glasses, especially when there is no supervisor around. The reason they say is that the glasses are scratched or fogged up.
Use siempre los anteojos de seguridad
Es muy común entre nuestros hermanos compañeros no colocarse los anteojos de seguridad, sobre todo cuando no hay ningún supervisor cerca. Según ellos, la razón es que los anteojos están muy rayados o se empañan.
Important to Put Out Cones and Signs
It is important to follow company policies in putting out both signs and cones. The crew was trying to save time and my partner only put out one sign in front on a busy road. While he was chipping brush a car came from behind and ran into the chipper. My co-worker was able to jump out of the way. No major damage to the chipper and no injury to my co-worker.
Es importante colocar los conos y las señalizaciones
Es importante cumplir con las normas de la compañía en cuanto a colocar tanto la señalización como los conos. La cuadrilla estaba tratando de ahorrar tiempo y mi compañero colocó solamente una señalización en una carretera muy transitada. Mientras estaba astillando unas ramas, un carro llegó por atrás y chocó contra la astilladora. Mi compañero pudo saltar y quitarse del camino. La astilladora no sufrió mayores daños y mi compañero no sufrió ninguna lesión.
Watched Cars Pile Up
I was driving on the freeway, keeping the distance of 4 seconds. There were many cars. A bus stopped on the road and many cars crashed because they hadn’t kept their distance.
Choque múltiple de vehículos
Una vez iba en la autopista y yo iba manteniendo mi distancia de 4 segundos. Había muchos carros. Se paró un bus en la carretera y muchos carros chocaron con el bus por no mantener su distancia.
Distracted Driver Close Call
At the end of the day as I was picking up the cones a started walking with my back to the traffic. A driver hit one of the cones closer to me. I think the driver was distracted texting on his phone. Fortunately I was able to get out of the way and nothing happened.
Conductor distraído casi causa un accidente
Al fin del día al recoger los conos comencé a caminar dando la espalda al tráfico cuando el chofer del carro tumbó uno de los conos que estaba cerca de mí. Creo que el chofer iba distraído escribiendo en su teléfono. Afortunadamente logré moverme a un lado y no pasó nada grave.
Chipper Was Not Connected
This happened one day I was on my way to dump chips. After we had dumped them and connected the chipper to the truck I asked my climber if he had put the chipper’s pin in place. He assured me he had. When we were driving on the road I looked through my rearview mirror and the chipper was moving from side to side. I stopped immediately and it turned out that the chipper was disconnected. Fortunately the safety chains were in place.
La astilladora no estaba conectada
Esto pasó un día que fui a botar las astillas del camión. Después de botarlas conectamos la astilladora nuevamente al camión. Le pregunté a mi escalador i había puesto el pin y me aseguró que sí lo había hecho. Cuando estamos en la carretera de repente miré por el espejo y la astilladora se movía de un lado a otro. De inmediato me paré y la astilladora se había desconectado. Afortunadamente las cadenas de seguridad estaban puestas.
Almost Hit By Tree Trunk
We were doing some removal work and we had to cut a trunk 20” dbh 6’ high. I asked the climber to hand me the rope to tie it so he could pull. He gave me the rope and I tied it. I asked him to tie the rope to the tree behind him so the trunk wouldn’t fall back because it was heavy. He said he didn’t need to do that and that he was strong enough to handle it on his own. I insisted so he finally tied it down but he didn’t tighten up the rope. I didn’t notice until I cut the trunk, it almost fell on me. I was in the bucket and I couldn’t move very fast because of the lines. Nothing major happened but when I asked him why he didn’t tighten the rope he turned red in the face and apologized.
Casi fue golpeado por el tronco de un árbol
Un día estábamos haciendo trabajos de remoción y tenía que cortar un tronco de 1.8 m (6 pies) de largo con un DAP de 50 cm (20 pulgadas). Le dije al escalador me pasara el lazo para amarrarlo y para que él lo jalara. Lo amarré y le dije asegúralo del árbol de allá atrás para que no se le vaya a venir hacia atrás porque está pesado. Dijo que no quería y que él sí podía con él. De todos modos insistí y lo amarró pero no lo tensó. Pero no me di cuenta hasta que lo corté porque el tronco por poquito se me viene encima. Yo estaba en la canasta y no podía moverme tan rápido porque estaba cerca de las líneas. No pasó a mayores pero cuando le pregunté por qué no la había tensado solo se puso muy rojo y pidió disculpas.
Tree Falls in Wind
Our crew was working on a right-of-way project. A tree fell over about 80 feet behind us in a gust of wind. The tree was from outside the right of way and was not listed for removal. No damage was caused.
Ráfaga de viento tumbó un árbol
Nuestra cuadrilla estaba trabajando en un proyecto de derecho-de-paso. Una ráfaga de viento tumbó un árbol el cual cayó unos 24 m (80 pies) detrás de nosotros. El árbol estaba fuera de la zona de derecho de paso y no estaba en la lista de árboles para remover. No hubo daños.
Branch Caught Chaps
My climber was chipping with his chaps on and I didn’t see until I turned around and a branch caught hold of his chaps and started pulling him. Luckily he hit the reverse bar.
Una rama se atascó en las chaparreras
Mi escalador estaba astillando con sus chaparreras puestas y no me di cuenta hasta que me volteé y una rama se atascó en sus chaparreras y comenzó a halarlo hacia la astilladora. Afortunadamente el escalador puso la astilladora en rev
Almost Hit by Tree Trunk
I was taking down a fallen tree on a guy line and phone cable. The tree was 40”DBH, it had already taken down the primaries. The primaries were already grounded. We had to set the bull line on the bottom of the trunk because it could roll when cutting weight off the top of the tree. We set bull line and pulley on tree near the top behind cables and a pull line at top of the tree. After getting top off of the tree we tried to pull the tree off the cable and it didn’t come off so I went to the butt and cut the trunk. Without thinking where the line was set I cut the trunk and it came back at me and luckily it slid by me. I thought about it, next time I will take my time and think before I cut.
Casi me golpeó el tronco de un árbol
Estaba sacando un árbol derribado sobre un cable de amarre y un cable telefónico. El árbol tenía un DAP de 1 m (40”) y ya había puesto fuera de servicio las líneas primarias. Las líneas primarias ya estaban conectadas a tierra. Tuvimos que colocar el cable de tracción en la parte inferior del camión porque había la posibilidad de que rodara al cortar el peso de la copa del árbol. Colocamos el cable de tracción y la polea en el árbol cerca de la copa detrás de los cables y una línea de tiro en la copa del árbol. Después de quitar la copa del árbol tratamos de halar el árbol para retirarlo de los cables pero no lo pudimos sacar, así que cortamos el tronco desde abajo. Corté el tronco sin pensar dónde estaba colocada la línea, y el tronco rebotó hacia mí. Afortunadamente me pasó por al lado. Me quedé pensando y decidí que la próxima vez voy a tomar el tiempo necesario para pensar antes de cortar.
Limb Almost Hits Lady
When roping I told climber to hold the rope when the limb was cut. After the cut he asked if he can lower it. I said “no” and he thought I said “yeah” and he let down the limb fast. The reason I said “no” he could not see a lady walking a dog. The limb came down about 10’ from her.
Una rama casi golpea a una dama
Mientras amarraba la cuerda le dije al escalador que sujetara la cuerda después de cortar la rama. Después del corte me pregunto si la podía bajar. Le dije “no” y él pensó que le había dicho “sí”, y bajó la rama rápidamente. La razón por la que yo le había dicho “no” era porque yo había visto a una dama paseando con un perro. La rama cayó a unos 3 metros (10 pies) de la dama.
Drove Lift With Riggers Down
A foreman that always drove a dump truck had been given a lift truck to work with. He had the license to drive it so he was driving the lift to the location and parking the truck and climbing the trees because he did not like working in the lift truck. The GF came to check on us and told the foreman, “you were given a lift truck so use it.” So he used the lift and when he was done he was so happy nothing happened that he forgot to put up the riggers and dragged them 10 feet before he noticed them down. No damage.
Manejó el camión elevador sin recoger los brazos estabilizadores
A un capataz que siempre conducía el camión de volteo se le entregó un camión elevador. Tenía la licencia necesaria para conducirlo. Él manejaba el camión hasta el lugar de trabajo, lo estacionaba y luego escalaba árboles porque no le agradaba operar el camión elevador. El capataz general vino a hacer una inspección y le dijo al capataz “a usted se le entregó un camión elevador, úselo”. De manera que él usó el camión elevador y cuando terminó estaba tan contento de que no había ocurrido ningún incidente que se le olvidó recoger los brazos estabilizadores y los arrastró unos 3 m (10 pies) hasta que se dio cuenta que no los había recogido. No hubo daños.
Truck Almost Got Stuck
Came out to the yard in the morning to go to the first location and my partner told me that the truck was full of chips. I decided to go the dump we go to daily and when we got there I noticed some water on the ground. My climber went to check and he said it was fine. I started backing the truck when the owner came out and said a water pipe was broken for 3 days and the ground was really wet and I would get the truck stuck.
Un camión casi se queda atascado
Salí del patio en la mañana para dirigirme al primer sitio de trabajo y mi compañero me dijo que el camión estaba lleno de astillas. Decidí ir al botadero donde vamos diariamente y cuando llegamos me di cuenta que había agua en el suelo. Mi escalador fue a verificar y me dijo que todo estaba bien. Comencé a retroceder y el dueño salió a informarme que una tubería de agua estaba rota desde hacía 3 días y que la tierra había absorbido mucha agua por lo que el camión podría quedarse atascado.
Could Have Been Hit by Car
We were working on a not so wide road but had a good set up, cones and signs were out. I heard a car coming and it was hitting our cones and then he just missed hitting our chipper. The car would have hit me if I was standing by the chipper!
Un carro me hubiera podido atropellar
Estábamos ejecutando trabajos en una carretera no muy ancha pero bien ubicados, habíamos colocado nuestros conos y señalización. Escuché venir un vehículo que comenzó a chocar con nuestros conos y casi chocó con nuestra astilladora. ¡Si yo hubiera estado parado al lado de la astilladora, el carro me hubiera atropellado!
Upside Down in Gear
Yesterday my foreman was climbing a tree and the limb he was standing on broke. The fall left him hanging upside down, good thing he was tied in.
Colgando al revés con el equipo puesto
Ayer mi capataz estaba escalando un árbol y la rama donde estaba parado se quebró. Al caer, él quedó colgando al revés, menos mal que estaba amarrado con la cuerda.
Don’t Leave Your Post!
When a person is holding a stop and go sign while doing traffic control do not abandon your position until all the cones are picked up and when the trucks are off the road.
¡No abandone su posición!
Cuando un individuo está encargado de la señalización de pare y avance (“Stop” y “Go”) dirigiendo el tráfico, no debe abandonar su posición hasta que todos los conos hayan sido recogidos y ya los camiones no estén sobre la carretera.
Climber Almost Hit
We were roping down a FP R2 digger pine with a 65’ bucket truck. The climber was roping the tops through a crotch and the foreman was running the rope. The climber misjudged the lean of the top and when the top went it broke off and swung around directly over the climber in the bucket. He was able to react fast by squatting down in the bucket as the top flew by. Nobody was hurt but it was close.
Un escalador casi es golpeado por la copa de un árbol
Estábamos atando un pino real FP R2 con un camión canasta de 20 metros (65 pies). El escalador estaba amarrando la copa a través de una horquilla y el capataz estaba controlando la cuerda. El escalador calculó mal la inclinación de la copa y al soltarla la copa se quebró y giró directamente sobre el escalador que estaba en la canasta. Él pudo reaccionar rápidamente y se agachó dentro de la canasta mientras la copa le pasó por encima. Nadie resultó herido pero hubiera podido ser un accidente.
Truck Almost Hit Boom
I was setting up traffic cones and signs. I went to go up in bucket and started to swing boom out and climber did not tell me a truck was coming. I saw it and moved boom back. Truck just missed my boom.
Un camión casi choca con una pluma
Yo estaba colocando conos y señales de tráfico. Fui hacia una canasta y comencé a mover la pluma hacia afuera y el escalador no me dijo que venía un camión. Lo vi y moví la pluma hacia adentro. El camión casi chocó con mi pluma.
Almost Run Over
I was raking lawn and street and my climber was using the blower. He was not watching the road and started to walk in front of a car. I grabbed him and the car just missed him.
Casi lo atropellan
Yo estaba rastrillando el césped y la calle, y mi escalador estaba usando el soplador. Él no le estaba prestando atención a la carretera y comenzó a caminar frente a un coche. Lo agarré y el coche le pasó muy cerca.
Thrown out of Bucket
I had a trimmer get careless in the bucket by not putting the leg straps of the harness on. The boom got caught on a branch and popped him out of the bucket and the harness started to slip off because it was not on properly.
Lanzado fuera de una canasta
Un podador se descuidó estando en la canasta y no se colocó las perneras del arnés. La pluma se enganchó en una rama, el podador fue lanzado fuera de la canasta y el arnés se empezó a resbalar porque no estaba colocado correctamente.
A trimmer cut a tree branch too big to control and it came in contact with the line. He was lucky he contacted the primary neutral and not the hot line.
Contacto con línea primaria
Un podador cortó una rama demasiado grande para poderla controlar, y la rama cayó e hizo contacto con la línea. El podador tuvo suerte que el contacto fue con el neutro y no con la línea caliente.
Almost Thrown Off Roof
We were removing a large pepper tree that was partially over a house. The tree trimmer performing the job decided to work from the roof of the house for better access to the brush over the house. He had tied a large branch to be lowered down and when he finished the cut the limb swung away from the tree out over the roof. The limb nearly hit him and threw him off the roof.
Casi se cae del techo
Estábamos removiendo un árbol de pimienta de gran tamaño que estaba parcialmente sobre una casa. El podador decidió montarse en el techo de la casa y trabajar desde allí porque así tenía mejor acceso a las ramas que estaban sobre la casa. Había amarrado una rama grande para bajarla y cuando terminó de cortarla la rama giró lejos del árbol sobre el techo. La rama casi golpeó al podador y casi se cae del techo.
Jumped by Raccoons?
We got sent to clear a large cypress tree from the primary lines. One of our climbers was thirty feet off the ground. When he reached into a crotch two raccoons peaked out looking down at him. The climber came down the tree faster than if he were to fall!
¿Asaltado por mapaches?
Nos enviaron a despejar un gran ciprés de las líneas primarias. Uno de nuestros escaladores estaba a 9 m (30 pies) de altura. Cuando llego a una horquilla, dos mapaches se asomaron para verlo. ¡El escalador bajó del árbol más rápido que si se hubiera caído!
Truck Jumps Blocks
On a steep hill truck with air brakes and outriggers on gravel, man boomed all the way out in front of the truck jumping the wheel blocks. Truck slid almost 23 feet before I was able to catch it and bring it to a stop by placing my foot on brake peddle!
Un camión saltó sobre los bloques de las ruedas
En una colina empinada, un camión con frenos de aire y con los brazos estabilizadores sobre la grava, con la pluma extendida totalmente hacia el frente del camión, saltó sobre los tacos de las ruedas. ¡El camión resbaló casi 7 m (23 pies) hasta que lo pude detener colocando mi pie en el pedal!
Crews Working Over/Under Primary
Two crews working in the same span, two younger foremen and two new climbers, one under primary lines and one over lines. Another crew stopped operations to explain to crews the rules to not work over and under in the same span and their close call.
Cuadrillas trabajando por encima y por debajo de la línea primaria
Dos cuadrillas trabajando en el mismo vano, dos jóvenes capataces y dos escaladores nuevos, uno por debajo de las líneas primarias y uno por encima de ellas. Otra cuadrilla detuvo las operaciones para explicarle a las cuadrillas las normas de no trabajar por debajo y por encima del mismo vano al mismo tiempo, y la posibilidad de que ocurra un accidente.
Frozen Road Causes Truck to Slide
In 2009 driving in mountains, snow and frozen conditions. Road conditions change throughout the day. Frozen ground thaws and what was passable in the am is not in the afternoon. Roads are slippery and trucks slid off easily. We had to tie off truck to keep it from rolling down hill. It took one hour to get it back on the road and chain it up.
Un camión resbala porque la carretera estaba congelada
En 2009, manejando en las montañas, con nieve y en condiciones heladas. Las condiciones de la carretera cambian a lo largo del día. Las partes congeladas se derriten y las zonas que eran seguras para pasar en la mañana ya no lo son en la tarde. Los caminos están resbaladizos y los camiones resbalan fácilmente. Tuvimos que amarrar un camión para que no continuara rodando cuesta abajo. Tardamos una hora en regresar el camión a la carretera y colocarle cadenas.
Not Enough Equipment
I came across a crew felling a tree and they had a rope-along in it for direction of fall. They didn’t have another rope on the truck and no wedges. I put my rope along to use by using a throw line to place into tree to rig assist. Tree came down ok after that. Not enough equipment to do the job safely!
Sin suficiente equipo
Me encontré una cuadrilla que estaba derribando un árbol y tenían una cuerda para dirigir la caída. No tenían otra cuerda en el camión ni tampoco cuñas. Utilizamos mi cuerda con una línea de tiro para colocarla en el árbol y ayudar. El árbol fue derribado sin problemas después de eso. ¡No tenían suficiente equipo para ejecutar el trabajo de manera segura!
Truck Almost Flipped
Had a lift truck getting a new tire. The truck was on a jack and the tire was off the truck. The temperature was 110 degrees and the asphalt gave way and the truck fell off the jack and almost tipped over.
Un camión casi se vuelca
Estaban cambiando la llanta de un camión elevador. El camión estaba sobre un gato y ya se le había quitado la llanta. Hacía 43 C (110 F) y el asfalto cedió por el calor, el camión se cayó del gato y casi se volcó.
Trailer Comes Off Hitch
Driving back from the job on the highway with the GF and a big truck in front started going from side to side. The trailer of the truck went off the road and almost turned over right in front of us- just before the GF was about to pass the big truck.
Un remolque se sale de su enganche
Manejando de regreso del trabajo en la carretera, con el capataz general, un camión delante de nosotros comenzó a moverse de un lado al otro. El remolque del camión se salió de la carretera y casi se volcó delante de nosotros, justo cuando el capataz general estaba a punto de adelantar al camión.
Tree Hits Primary Lines
Was working with a foreman on a cold morning doing removals. He had on tree 33 ft. by 10’ dbh. He did a good face cut and started his back cut and half way through the tree snapped and fell into the lines. The lines then threw tree off.
Un árbol cae sobre las líneas primarias
Me encontraba trabajando con un capataz en una fría mañana, removiendo ramas y árboles. Él estaba sobre un árbol de 10 m (33 pies) y un DAP de 3 m (10 pies). Hizo un buen corte transversal y comenzó a hacer el corte posterior. A mitad del trabajo el árbol se quebró y cayó sobre las líneas. Luego el árbol cayó de las líneas al suelo.
Lost Control of Rope
Roped off the top of a big tree over a house and the climber was on the rope and had a wrap around the base. I cut the top hanging over the house and rope bound up in the crotch. The climber saw it was stuck and decided to let go of the rope to help the homeowner. I saw him let go and yelled to him to grab the rope. Close call!
Perdió el control de la cuerda
La copa de un gran árbol sobre una casa estaba amarrada y el escalador estaba sobre la cuerda y ya la había amarrado alrededor de la base. Yo corté la copa que colgaba sobre la casa y la cuerda se atascó en la horquilla. El escalador vio que estaba atascada y decidió soltar la cuerda para ayudar al dueño de la casa. Yo me di cuenta que él soltó la cuerda y le grité para que la agarrara de nuevo. ¡Casi fue un accidente!
Look Up and Live! At a jobsite with a 100 footer a chase truck was chipping the brush that was falling near the road. Trimmer in bucket cut a piece of wood and while dropping the limb hits another tree far away from chipper truck. Somehow the wood lands next to the crew. Crew on ground needs to keep an eye out for wood falling out of control.
¡Levante la mirada y sobreviva! En una zona de trabajo donde había un árbol de unos 30 m de alto (100 pies), un camión de apoyo se encontraba triturando las ramas que caían cerca del camino. El podador que se encontraba en una canasta cortó un trozo de madera. Al soltarla, la rama chocó contra otro árbol lejos del camión triturador. De alguna manera el trozo de madera cayó al lado de la cuadrilla. La cuadrilla en tierra debe estar alerta en casos de que la madera caiga fuera de control.
Snap Cut. Had something happen that taught me not to position bucket right on snap cut. Almost dropped chunk into bucket!
Corte de poda. Algo me sucedió que me enseñó a no colocar la cesta justamente debajo del punto de corte. ¡La rama casi cayó dentro de la cesta!
Yellowjacket Surprise. About a year ago I was a climber and my foreman told me that we were going to do an overhang and I was going to hold the rope while he made the cut. When he was ready to make the cut he said, “are you ready?’ and I said “yeah” Then I yelled “wait”! I stepped on a yellowjacket nest and they were biting me. I had 20 bites and let go of the rope to run. The foreman saw me run and turned of the chainsaw. Good thing he saw what happened.
Sorprendido por avispas. Hace un año aproximadamente, yo era trepador y mi capataz me informó que íbamos a cortar una rama que colgaba de una línea. Mi trabajo era sostener la cuerda mientras él hacía el corte. Cuando estaba listo para el corte, él me preguntó, “¿estás listo?” y yo le dije “sí”. Luego grité “¡espera!”. Había pisado un nido de avispas y me estaban picando. Tenía 20 picadas y solté la cuerda para correr. El capataz me vio correr y apagó la sierra eléctrica. Menos mal que él vio lo que sucedió.
Very Close Call. A foreman was working at a house the day before and I was told to come back the next day to finish the job. It was windy that day and I backed up the truck near where I was going to work. I got out of the truck to talk to the homeowner a tree 6” dbh 30’ high fell 1 foot in front of me. Watch out when the wind is blowing, branches and trees can come down.
Casi fue un accidente. Un capataz realizaba trabajos en una casa y me dio instrucciones para regresar al día siguiente para terminar el trabajo. Ese día había mucho viento y coloqué el camión en retroceso hasta un lugar cercano a donde iba a ejecutar el trabajo. Salí del camión para hablar con el dueño de la casa y en ese momento un árbol de DAP de 15 cm (6 pulgadas) y 9 m (30 pies) de altura cayó 30 cm (1 pie) delante de mí. Tengan cuidado cuando haya vientos fuertes, algunas ramas y árboles pueden caerle cerca.
Forgot to Tie In. While climbing a maple tree approximately 60 ft. I was in position to tie in and start limb walking out on the limbs using a single rope. It was a taught line hitch style climb line I thought it was clipped to my D-ring. I started to run out a limb when I noticed my climb line hanging down. I was able to jump to the trunk and get tied in.
Olvidé sujetarme. Mientras escalaba un arce de aproximadamente 18 m (60 pies) de altura, estaba en posición de sujetarme y comenzar a caminar sobre las ramas usando una sola cuerda. La línea estaba tensa e iba a escalar usando un gancho. Pensé que había conectado el gancho a mi argolla en D. Comencé a correr sobre una rama cuando me di cuenta que mi cuerda de escalar estaba suelta. Pude saltar al tronco y sujetarme.
Started Fire Under Truck. While going to dump chips the driver drove over a small pile of old chips, put the outriggers out and proceeded to dump chips. The exhaust caught the old chips on fire. They were able to get the truck pulled forward and get the fire out.
Se originó un incendio debajo del camión. Al ir a descargar unas astillas, el conductor pasó con el camión por encima de una pequeña pila de astillas viejas, sacó los estabilizadores y comenzó a descargar las astillas. El tubo de escape hizo que las astillas viejas se incendiaran. Fue posible mover el camión hacia delante y apagar el incendio.
Limb Dropped on Primary Line. Two guys were up in a 100ft. bucket truck. One guy holding limbs and one guy cutting limbs. The chainsaw guy cut too big a piece and the other guy couldn’t hold it. He dropped the limb directly on the power lines. Luckily the limb bounced off and didn’t cross phase the lines.
Una rama cayó sobre una línea primaria. Dos individuos estaban en un camión canasta de 30 m (100 pies). Uno estaba aguantando las ramas y el otro las estaba cortando. El individuo que tenía la sierra eléctrica cortó un pedazo demasiado grande y la otra persona no lo pudo sujetar. Dejó caer la rama directamente sobre las líneas eléctricas. Afortunadamente la rama rebotó y no se produjo un cortocircuito entre las líneas.
Hit Guy Wire. My foreman and I were trimming trees near town and we were driving up the power line access road weaving around the power poles. At one point we had to drive between a power pole and a guy wire. I got out to spot for him and as he drove between them his chipper box bumped the guy wire and I got him to stop before any damage was done.
Chocamos con un cable de amarre. Mi capataz y yo estábamos podando árboles cerca de la ciudad. Estábamos manejando por la carretera de acceso a las líneas eléctricas, alrededor de los postes. Nos encontramos en una situación donde teníamos que pasar entre un poste y un cable de amarre. Me bajé del vehículo para darle instrucciones. Al pasar el vehículo entre el cable y el poste, la astilladora golpeó el cable de amarre. Yo logré que detuviera el vehículo antes de que ocurriera ningún daño.
Metal Piece in Chipper: Crew was removing a oak tree and while they were chipping there was a big cracking sound in the chipper. The crew turned off the chipper and looked inside and they found a piece of metal in the chipper. The chipper was a self -fed Vermeer chipper. The chipper blades were torn up and destroyed. It is not known where the metal came from but must have been in the wood. No one was hurt. I t is best to look at what is being fed in but if the metal is grown into the wood someone would not see it.
Pieza metálica dentro de la máquina astilladora: La cuadrilla se encontraba removiendo un roble, y mientras astillaban el árbol escucharon un fuerte crujido en la máquina astilladora. Apagaron la máquina y al mirar adentro encontraron una pieza de metal en la astilladora. La máquina era una astilladora Vermeer con un sistema de alimentación automático. Las cuchillas de la astilladora quedaron destruidas. No se sabe de dónde salió la pieza metálica pero probablemente estaba en la madera. Nadie resultó herido. Es mejor revisar el material que ingresa en la alimentadora, pero si la pieza de metal es parte de la madera no se puede ver.
Runaway Truck: One day a crew was working on a steep hill and they wanted to leave the chipper disconnected from the truck so they could go work over the hill. The foreman told the climber to disconnect the chipper and the foreman set the hand brake but forgot to put the truck in a gear and left it in neutral. The climber put the chock blocks on the chipper and started lifting the chipper hitch. He felt the chipper leg getting hard to lift and asked the foreman to go help him. When they were both lifting they heard a pop sound and noticed the truck starting to go down the hill. The foreman started running to catch the truck and press the brake. He was lucky he got in the truck and stopped it.
Camión fuera de control: La cuadrilla estaba trabajando un día en una colina empinada y querían dejar la astilladora desengachada del camión para poder ir a trabajar sobre la colina. El capataz le pidió al escalador que desenganchara la astilladora y el capataz colocó el freno de mano pero olvidó colocar el embrague en una velocidad y lo dejó en neutro. El escalador colocó las cuñas de bloqueo en la astilladora y comenzó a levantar el gancho conector de la astilladora. Sintió que la pata de la astilladora era difícil de levantar de manera que le pidió ayuda al capataz. Cuando ambos se encontraban levantando la astilladora escucharon un chasquido y el camión comenzó a rodar por la colina hacia abajo. El capataz comenzó a correr para alcanzar el camión y aplicar lo frenos. Tuvo suerte y pudo meterse en el camión y frenarlo.
Hit in Face With Pole Pruner: Employee hit his nose with pole pruner. Trimmer was trying to reach a high limb with his pole pruner. The limb was too thick to cut with one hand on the pull rope and so he pulled the rope with both hands. The pruner handle struck the trimmer in the face by the nose. A little closer and the handle may have hit him in the eye. He was not injured but it was a close call. Don’t loose control of the pruner, keep one hand on the handle and do not cut a limb too big for the pruner.
Golpeado en la cara por un podadora de pértiga: Un empleado se golpeó la nariz con una podadora de pértiga. El podador estaba tratando de alcanzar una rama alta con su podadora de pértiga. La rama era demasiado gruesa y no se podía cortar usando sola una mano en la soga de halado, así que tiró de la soga con ambas manos. El mango de la pértiga le golpeó en la cara, al lado de la nariz. Si hubiera estado un poquito más cerca le hubiera golpeado en el ojo. No se lesionó pero casi fue un accidente. No pierda el control de la podadora, mantenga una mano en el mango y no trate de cortar ramas que sean demasiado grandes para la podadora.
Split Tree Top Pins Foreman: A new foreman was under pressure to get a tree topped 30 minutes before lunch. He had little experience on reading paperwork so it took a lot of time to find the tree that need to be topped. He found a dead 50 ft. dead tree that needed to be topped. The tree was close to the lines but was leaning away from the lines so he said, That’s easy, I can top it and be done in time for lunch- it will take 15 minutes.” So he climbed half way up the tree and started cutting into the tree. About half way through the cut the tree split/barbered and he was sucked into the tree top. The top got stuck in another tree top and the foreman was able to cut his flip line and get free. He was so scared that he didn’t eat his lunch. He said he will not get in a hurry- it’s not worth it!
Un árbol partido deja a un capataz atrapado: Un nuevo capataz se encontraba bajo presión para podar un árbol 30 minutos antes de la hora de almuerzo. Tenía muy poca experiencia sobre cómo leer los papeles de la orden de trabajo de manera que le tomó bastante tiempo encontrar el árbol que debía podar. Encontró un árbol muerto de 50 pies (15 metros) que requería ser podado. El árbol estaba cerca de las líneas de transmisión pero inclinado en dirección alejándose de las líneas, de manera que se dijo a sí mismo Esto es fácil, lo puedo podar y terminar a tiempo para la hora de almuerzo, me tomará unos 15 minutos.” De manera que trepó hasta la mitad del árbol y comenzó a cortar el árbol. A mitad del trabajo el árbol se partió y el quedó atrapado en la copa del árbol. La copa del árbol se enganchó en otro árbol y el capataz pudo cortar su cuerda y liberarse. Estaba tan asustado que no comió nada en el almuerzo. Dijo que no se iba a apresurar, ¡no vale la pena!
Tree Top Too Close to Primary: I was given paper work in an area. When I was checking out the paperwork I noticed there was another foreman’s name on the paperwork and he had signed off the trees he had done but left a tree that was 5 inches from the power line. I was told by that foreman that he reported it to the GF. The GF told him, You get paid to cut trees like that, if you can’t do it I will find someone who can.” The tree was listed on 11/7/2013. Another foreman worked in the area on 1/10/2014 and left the tree burning in the primary over the weekend. I then got the paperwork on 1/15/2014, noticed the tree, reported it. My GF called the PG&E 1-800 number and got a line kill and went to work in removing the tree. Why couldn’t that be done the first time? There should be no reason not to have a line kill inside approach distance and be told by a GF to do it anyway.
La copa del árbol estaba muy cerca de la línea primaria: Me entregaron los papeles con la orden de trabajo. Cuando los estaba revisando, me di cuenta que los papeles tenían el nombre de otro capataz, y que él había firmado los árboles que había completado, pero dejó un árbol a 5 pulgadas (12.7 cm) de la línea eléctrica. Ese capataz me había dicho que el lo reportó al Capataz General (GF). El GF le dijo que Se te paga para que cortes los árboles así, si no lo puedes hacer encontraremos a alguien que sí lo pueda hacer.” El árbol estaba listado el 7 /noviembre/2013. Otro capataz trabajó en el área el 10/enero/2014 y dejó el árbol quemándose en la línea primaria todo el fin de semana. Luego me entregaron los papeles a mí el 15/enero/2014, me di cuenta del estado del árbol y lo reporté. Mi GF llamó al número 1–800 de PG&E y logró que desconectaran la línea y comenzó a trabajar para remover el árbol. ¿Por qué no se pudo hacer eso desde la primera vez? No debería haber ninguna razón para no solicitar la desconexión de una línea dentro de la distancia de acercamiento y ninguna razón para que el GF diga que hay que hacer el trabajo de cualquier manera.
Cell Phone for Flashlight: There were crews working during a storm that did not have flash lights for their hardhats. Instead of flashlights at night they were using cell phones that had flashlights to shine on the work. The climber held a cell phone for the foreman to cut a tree. PG&E was not happy to see that happening with the tree crew.
Teléfono móvil como linterna: Unas cuadrillas que estaban trabajando durante una tormenta no tenían linternas en sus cascos. En la noche, en lugar de una linterna estaban usando los teléfonos móviles que tenían linterna para alumbrar el trabajo. El escalador le pasó un teléfono móvil al capataz para cortar un árbol. A PG&E no le gustó que eso estuviera pasando con la cuadrilla de podadores.
Working Without Signs or Cones: Saw a crew working without signs or cones on the jobsite. The crew used the excuse that they were trying to keep production up. Not a good excuse.
Trabajo sin señalización ni conos: Observe a una cuadrilla trabajando sin ningún tipo de señalización ni conos en el sitio de trabajo. La excusa de la cuadrilla fue que estaban tratando de mantener un nivel alto de producción. No es una buena excusa.
Power Company Inspected Crew: We went to work on power company property and while we were doing the work we were stopped by a company safety inspector. Our equipment was checked and we were shut down because our equipment was not up to par. Our fire extinguisher didn’t have labels, our hardhats didn’t have lanyards. We were told any equipment was to have a lanyard when in the air. The lanyard, body belt and saddle did not have a label you could read and we were told we weren’t supposed to use it. They also told us we didn’t have a spill kit . The inspector told us the inspection was for our safety and we could not do the work until everything was right.
Compañía de electricidad inspeccionó a la cuadrilla: Fuimos a trabajar en una área propiedad de la compañía de electricidad y mientras estábamos trabajando nos detuvo un inspector de seguridad de la compañía. Nos chequearon el equipo y nos hicieron detener la obra porque nuestro equipo no cumplía con las normas. Nuestro extinguidor de incendio no tenía etiquetas, nuestro cascos no tenían cordones. Nos dijeron que todos los equipos cuando están en el aire deben tener cordones. El cordón, el cinturón para el cuerpo y la silla no tenían etiquetas legibles y nos dijeron que no deberíamos usarlos. También nos dijeron que no teníamos un equipo para derrames. El inspector nos dijo que la inspección era por nuestra propia seguridad y que no podíamos continuar con el trabajo hasta que todo estuviera correcto.
On Feb. 24, 2014 an Outside Line contractor using a contract helicopter performing external human load work had an inadvertent hook release while a lineman was being transported on the long line, dropping him into the back-up secondary device (Belly band). There were no injuries and the pilot returned the lineman and the aircraft to the ground safely. An investigation into the release was conducted and the initial report indicated that the release was due to a jam nut on the manual hook release loosened, allowing the release cable to come out of adjustment, resulting in the hook release. Further investigation into the release revealed the slack in the cable used on this type of manual release was slightly long to allow for side operations and as a result allowed the swedged fitting on the end of the cable to protrude past the cradling point for the fitting. If the end of the swedge fitting rest on the outside of the contact point it removes all free play in the cable and therefore there is no free play in the release mechanism which would allow the hook to open with very little effort, such as strain on the cable. Inspection of the cable is also very important due to the fact that the cable is a wearable item and must be replaced at any sign of damage, such as broken strands or kinks in the cable.
On Dec. 13, 2013 an un-commanded release from a cargo hook carrying a cargo basket full of tools to the ground. No injuries were reported when the basket landed in an un-occupied salt marsh. Upon investigation it was determined that the strap used to connect the long line to the belly band as required when hauling human load was left swinging in the breeze when it was disconnected for hauling cargo. This allowed the unrestrained strap to slap several times against the release mechanism cable eventually causing it to open the hook and releasing the cargo. This was determined to be the cause as in the investigation the team was able to recreate the event and capture it on film. The remedy for this issue was easily corrected by restraining the disconnected strap from the belly band when flying cargo.
A contract crew was working in the Fresno area foothills on a helicopter set pole. The pilot, with a contract helicopter company, came in rapidly with the pole swinging violently. The crew said that they tried repeatedly to wave the pilot off, but he kept on. The result was that he broke the pole top off of the old pole to be changed out, severely damaged both phases of 4 ACSR, missed by inches a contract crew member, who dove to the ground for cover fearing the pilot would release his load and nearly cross phased the primary down the hill beyond the open point. The pilot denies it was his fault and stated that it was the crew who guided him in. The crew was shook up but went on with their work. For this reason, they will be approximately 3 hours late on the go back affecting 3 customers. The contract crew is currently contacting other vendors, and if they cannot find someone else to fly, they said they will cancel the next day’s helicopter work.
Below is another case where the wrong voltage transformer was called for and delivered. 7200/12000Y volt transformers instead of 12000 delta were called for on the job instruction and delivered. I say another case as this happened last year and also a few weeks ago to a General Construction crew. An incident was avoided in the circumstance below due to the crew following proper checking and verification procedures. Please make your crews aware to watch out for this:
A heads up. The transformers delivered for Schindler 1114 were the wrong primary voltage. The line is 12kv delta and we received 7.2/12Y pots. The crew followed proper procedures in testing voltage and rotation and caught the error before energizing the secondaries. We were able to wire the closed bank to provide good customer voltage. The inspector is bringing out the two transformers for the open bank. Crew instructions actually call for the incorrect transformers. A good reminder to always check voltage before connecting your secondaries.
Cargo Hook Failure: A contract crew using long line operations had a cargo hook on the helicopter they were using have an un-commanded release while transporting human load via long-line operations resulting in the contract lineman dropping into the secondary system (Belly Strap) as designed. No injuries were reported and the helicopter was removed from the property until a full investigation of the incident has been performed and corrective measures have been taken.
Anchor failure: The crew was setting a new pole. When pulling on the guy wire to transfer it to the new pole, the anchor broke and pulled out of the ground. The anchor had apparently penciled and grown weak over time. When the anchor gave way, the old pole swung toward the new pole. No equipment was damaged and no employees were hurt. It appears the anchor rod penciled over time and grew weak. When the crew pulled on the guy wire to transfer it to the new pole, it broke just beneath the surface of the ground. In order to prevent a recurrence, it is recommend that crews dig a few inches below the surface of the ground around each anchor rod to inspect for signs of decay prior to changing strain.
A climber was in a fir tree with limbs over the 12kV power lines. The climber climbed the tree and hung a block and rope in the tree and came down to the lowest limb, about 6 inches round by 30 feet long. He tied the rope about half way out on the limb. I noticed and felt that the rope was not tied far enough out but the climber thought it was good. The idea for the limb was to be pulled up and away from the lines but the climber did not clear a path for the limb to be pulled up. The climber told the two guys on the rope to pull. I noticed they did not have enough pull so I helped pull but I still felt like we didn’t have enough pull but by then it was too late and the climber cut the limb. The limb rolled and the tip of the limb dropped into one phase of the power lines and hung up hard on the lines. We were finally able to get the limb free from the line with no one hurt.
Un escalador se encontraba en un abeto cuyas ramas estaban sobre las líneas eléctricas de 12kV. El escalador subió al árbol y colgó un bloque y una cuerda en el árbol y luego descendió hasta la rama más baja que medía unos 15 cm (6 pulgadas) de diámetro y 9 metros (30 pies) de largo. Amarró la cuerda aproximadamente en la mitad de la rama. Yo me di cuenta y me pareció que la cuerda debería haber estado amarrada más hacia afuera de la rama, pero el escalador pensó que la distancia era la adecuada. El objetivo era que la rama fuera halada hacia arriba y lejos de las líneas eléctricas, pero el escalador no dejó el espacio libre necesario para que la rama pudiera ser halada hacia arriba. El escalador le dijo a sus dos compañeros que halaran la cuerda. Me di cuenta que no tenían suficiente fuerza para halar de manera que los ayudé, pero me pareció que todavía no teníamos suficiente fuerza para halar. Para entonces el escalador ya había cortado la rama. La rama rodó y la punta cayó sobre una de las fases de las líneas eléctricas y quedó colgada de las líneas. Finalmente logramos liberar la rama de las líneas eléctricas sin que nadie resultara herido.
Three crews were working to remove a pine tree. The crew hung a pull rope in the tree which was 90 feet tall by 32 inches DBH . The crew foreman and a climber tied the come-along rope to the redwood tree. I put the face cut in the tree and shut the saw to have the foreman and climber pull on the come along. As they pulled the rope the come along was on the knot slipped and the come along came undone. The climber tied a bowline knot but did not have a half hitch backer on the rope or an 18 foot tail. Luckily there was not a back cut on the tree. Close call for sure!
Tres cuadrillas estaban trabajando para quitar un pino. La cuadrilla colgó en el árbol una cuerda para halar. El árbol tenía 27.4 m (90 pies) de altura y un DAP de 81 cm (32 pulgadas). El capataz de la cuadrilla y un escalador amarraron la cuerda a la secoya. Yo realicé el corte transversal en el árbol y apagué la sierra para que el capataz y el escalador halaran la cuerda. A medida que halaban la cuerda, el cabrestante que estaba en el nudo se deslizó y se deshizo. El escalador ató un nudo de bolina pero no tenía un medio nudo de respaldo en la cuerda ni una cola de 5.5 m (18 pies). Afortunadamente el árbol no tenía un corte desde atrás. ¡Definitivamente un accidente potencial!
Two crews were working together on a removal of a pine. The pines DBH was about 18 inches and the height was about 45 feet. It had a lean down hill towards the power lines. We used a throw ball to put a rope in the tree so we could fall the whole tree. One of the foremen was ready to make his pie cut. He told the other employees to test pull on the rope to see how much tension they could put on the tree. When they pulled on the rope to test the tension the pine tree broke at the base and proceeded to fall with the lean towards the power lines. The tree was about 15 feet away from the lines but it did not reach the 12kv lines. It landed or leaned into the pole and luckily it bounced off the line and cross arm. This was a near miss. If someone would have climbed the tree I hate to think what would have happened to him. It could have been a very bad accident or death.
Dos cuadrillas se encontraban trabajando juntas para remover un pino. El DAP del pino era aproximadamente de 46 cm (18 pulgadas) y la altura de unos 13.7 m (45 pies). Estaba inclinado hacia abajo en la dirección de las líneas eléctricas. Utilizamos un peso con una bola para colocar una cuerda en el árbol para así poder derribar el árbol completo. Uno de los capataces estaba listo para hacer el corte tipo cuña. Le dijo a los otros empleados que probaran la tensión en la cuerda para ver cuánta tensión podía soportar el árbol. Cuando halaron la cuerda para probar la tensión, el pino se rompió por la base y cayó hacia las líneas eléctricas. El árbol estaba a unos 4.6 m (15 pies) de distancia, pero no alcanzó a tocar las líneas de 12kV. Cayó recostado sobre el poste y afortunadamente rebotó sobre la línea y el brazo transversal. Esto fue un accidente potencial. No me quiero ni imaginar qué hubiera pasado si alguien hubiera escalado el árbol. Hubiera podido ser un accidente grave o fatal.
On this day we were going to work at a location where we had to walk a few spans on the hill with the fire gear and all of our safety climbing gear when I slipped a few meters down a ravine with climbing gear, water pump and chainsaw. We had a lot of gear and we were told there was not enough trees to cover everyone at that location. It was not safe because there were not enough people to carry everything.
íbamos a trabajar en un lugar donde teníamos que caminar a través de varios vanos en las colinas, cargando nuestro equipo contra incendios y todo nuestro equipo de seguridad para escalar. Me resbalé hacia un barranco llevando el equipo de escalar, una bomba de agua y la sierra eléctrica. Teníamos muchos equipos y nos habían dicho que no había suficientes árboles para cubrir a todo los trabajadores en ese lugar. No era una situación segura porque no había suficientes personas para poder cargar todo.
We were working 2 crews or 4 persons removing some trees and the supervisor like always is with us to help or to force us. Whatever the case is that he has us work without regard for safety in the attempt to get ahead with the work exhibiting on occasion everyone present and if an individual refuses to do it he takes it personal saying we are not making our tree count, and many times by his decisions has been close to taking down the lines. Nothing has happened to date. Please attention in this.”
Estábamos trabajando 2 cuadrillas o 4 personas removiendo árboles y como siempre, el supervisor está con nosotros para ayudarnos o para obligarnos. En cualquier caso, nos hace trabajar sin tomar en cuenta la seguridad para avanzar el trabajo y demostrarlo delante de todos los presentes. Si una persona rehúsa hacerlo, lo toma como una afrenta personal y nos dice que no estamos cumpliendo con nuestra cuota de árboles. En muchas ocasiones sus decisiones casi han ocasionado la caída de las líneas. Hasta ahora no ha pasado nada. Por favor, presten atención a esta situación.”
Crew was preparing to spread #6 cu solid for new pole installation. Center phase was untied on tangent pole to be replaced and crew was preparing to move it to hot arm location. Before the move could be accomplished, the conductor separated approximately 200 feet north at the next pole. The conductor fell causing circuit to open as there was a non-test on the line due to the conductor size and large number of sleeves in all conductors. Crew had completed repairs to the first material failure, and then completed installation of new pole at the same location, transferred conductors and tied in. They then hung the transformer and cutouts and sagged the secondary conductor. The crew was then in the process of installing cut out jumpers to the line with ampac connectors when field phase conductor separated at the same pole as earlier conductor failure. The circuit recloser was again opened and cleared the line. Preliminary investigation found #6 cu solid conductor had failed at abandoned Kearney split bolt connector on adjacent pole. Abandoned connector was apparently originally used for tap line jumper that was adjacent and under identical connector. Apparent conductor fatigue determined due to penciling” of failed conductor end. Preliminary investigation points toward conductor fatigue on field phase at same location as #1 above. Only difference being this failure was an inch or two outside of over arm jumper Kearney connectors.
We got called out for storm damage where a large 36 dbh, 120 ft. tall pine tree had fallen. It had ripped down both 12kv lines and had a 2 inch phone line pinned to the ground. The phone line was under extreme tension. We tied the phone line off to a 3 dbh pine tree to hold the line down while we removed the fallen tree. We were going to release the rope slowly allowing the phone line to slowly raise it back up to its normal position. We started to remove the large pine and everything was going as planned. It then came time to make the final cut next to the phone line. The tree was cut about 2 feet past the phone line on one side and we started the final cut about 2 feet on the other side of the line. We cut about half way through and the tension transferred to the tie off rope as planned. As we got about 3/4 of the way through, the small tree that we tied off to suddenly was ripped out of the ground and the phone line flew violently into the air throwing the large chunk of tree into the air about 15 feet. It narrowly missed the saw operator and the truck that was parked about 30 feet away. There were other trees that we could have tied off to in that span, but we all assumed that the 3 dbh tree would hold. We learned a important lesson that day!
We were cutting brush to make a access road for the bucket truck to get to a tree. We were chipping the brush as we moved the truck in. There was a small pile of dead brush that looked like it was stacked there by someone a couple years prior. It was right in the road and we needed to move it. The worker walked over a grabbed the pile and dragged it to the chipper. He grabbed an armful and fed it into the chipper. Little did he know, there was a strand of barbed wire mixed in with the brush. As the brush went into the chipper the wire wrapped around the drum and was sucked into the chipper at a high rate of speed. The wire scraped the workers leg as it went by but only ripped his pants. He was very lucky. We always check the brush first now!
A tree crew driving down an interstate reported to the CHP call center that the driver of a panel truck with decals was speeding in a 55mph zone in excess of 80 miles an hour and weaving in and out of lanes without using turn signals. The crew gave a location and description of the vehicle to the highway patrol in the hope that a dangerous driver be taken off the road.
A crew was splicing some new 600 amp cable in a #7 box, preparing for a clearance that night. Also in the box was some properly barricaded hot 600 amp cable. At some point, with a lineman and apprentice in box, the hot cable blew and relayed a second time. There were no injuries and there is an on-going investigation into the incident and what caused the cable to fail.
Report was that pad mounted CAT bank was scheduled to be installed at a Winery in Ceres. The company offered no training to employees. Also, according to the report meter shop was scheduled to change out primary CT’s at another location at the winery. A line crew was also working in a different location and did not know of the meter shop crew working. The disconnect leads were hard tapped to the distribution line and the meter shop was not aware of the need to ground protection at their work location, no lock-out tag out procedures were used and there was no map or grounding procedure followed and no tailboard prior to commencement of work.
Crew was attempting to lift trailer with digger derrick to move trailer away from a bucket truck. Trailer had an 112kva transformer in the trailer at the time. Crew had attached winch line to trailer at pole tie down rest. While moving the trailer the pole rest broke slamming the pole to the ground and throwing pole rest into air. No one was injured. Crew reported that the best thing to do was empty the trailer of transformer and contents and connect winch line at a proper connection point.
A near miss was recorded from a line crew while lifting a 750 lb. 50kva transformer. The crew was in the process of pulling the transformer from the pole using a steel Wilson gin. All of the work was being done by a journeyman climber on the pole. The crew had covered the 12kV primary above while making the lift when the winch line became very taut. The operator reported 1000 lbs. of pressure on the capstan pressure gauge. After several attempts to work the transformer from the pole the transformer came loose and was ejected from the pole an estimated 18”. The transformer remained attached to the fiber sling and winch line but the violent action shook the pole top and primary. The rubber cover prevented the equipment from coming in contact with the primary. The crew found that the transformer hanger had been flattened out preventing it from easily being lifted from the pole.
A crew working maintenance on a 12kV UG radial line made phase to ground contact on a transformer case. A journeyman lineman in the process of doing a voltage test was pulling a capacitive test cap on an energized dead break elbow when the elbow became dislodged from the transformer bushing and fell onto the case of the transformer. The phase to ground contact caused a large arc flash and blew a single fuse at the termination pole. The remaining fuse caused a primary backfeed which kept the dead break elbow energized and the arc flash sustained. There were no injuries to the crew and an examination of the incident revealed that there were no spring bails installed on the elbow to keep it secured to the transformer bushing.
While working on a scheduled outage a crew was performing maintenance on a UG 3 transformer radial run. The crew had first planned to de-energize the whole radial circuit but changed their minds and decided to keep the first transformer in the run energized. Switching was performed and the isolated cable was grounded. After the work was completed grounds were removed and two journeymen were positioned at the first transformer while the other crew members went to the termination pole to de-energize the line. For unknown reasons and against instructions the journeymen at the transformer removed the bushing dummy cap and plugged the energized cable into transformer. This caused a fuse to blow at the fuse pole. No injuries or damage to equipment occurred but the crew foreman reported it as a near miss because if under different circumstances the linemen did not follow procedures the result could have been catastrophic. The linemen at the transformer admitted that they did not understand the instructions.
Energized Transmission Grounding Incident: It was reported to committee that a crew mistakenly applied personal protective grounds to an energized 69kV transmission line. According to the report the crew had tested the line de-energized with a Hastings voltage tester and applied the grounds causing the 69kV relay. No injuries were reported and the incident has been investigated and the supervisor involved. The crew claimed that the voltage tester failed to tone” that the line was energized causing them to mistakenly conclude that the line was de-energized.
Primary Splice Failure: Contract crew was energizing a new run of primary cable in a man hole. When the foreman put the switch in the closed position to take rotation at the 3 pot bank he noticed he had no voltage. He then returned to the switch and noticed it was not closed all the way. He the reclosed the switch at this time it caused a fire in the man hole at the cable. After reviewing the man hole we discovered a failed primary splice. Upon further review the cable was 25kv to 15kv where the straight splice failed. The splice used was a 25 kv straight splice. This is the incorrect splice for this cable and caused a .09’’ difference on the 15kv side of the cable causing a path to ground and the cable to slow burn itself in the clear and not a complete fault. Upon review of the other work locations adjacent to this manhole three additional splices of the same nature where located and replaced.
On May 4, 2012 a 480 volt circuit was inadvertently energized briefly while a crew was on the other end of the circuit at a power plant. The crew recognized the circuit as energized when a piece of equipment began working for approximately 90 seconds. This circuit was under a clearance and the breaker that was believed to become energized was Tagged out (No Lock) as per plant procedures. There were no injuries since the crew recognized that the equipment that started up was under clearance and stopped working. An investigation into the cause of this incident has taken place and report pending.
On February 11, 2012 while performing a 1 ¼ inch valve change, a Gas Service Representative encountered problems with a valve changer. During the process of changing the 1 ¼ inch service valve, the rubber plug on the shaft tube extended above the riser causing gas to blow to atmosphere after the service valve was removed. The GSR was unable to reinsert the shaft tube to seal off the blowing gas. Due to the rubber plug being installed incorrectly, the service valve was not able to be reattached. 911, dispatch and a supervisor were called and immediately informed of the blowing gas. M&C Gas arrived on site to dig up the gas service and squeeze off the gas flow.
Two employees were setting up to drill a hole for a ground support in the bottom of a circuit switcher control cabinet. The lead foreman told his crewman to wait until he had his low voltage gloves on before drilling the hole. The Lead was intending to hold a bundle of energized control wires out of the way so the hole could be drilled without damaging the wires. Either the crewman ignored or did not hear the lead and proceeded to drill the hole. The crew foreman yelled to the crewman to stop just as the drill nicked the insulation of one of the wires that supplies power to the cabinet heaters.
Potential For Injury:
The crewman could have received a small electrical shock or bound the drill causing an ergonomic injury.
Events Leading Up To:
Poor communication, Poor job planning.
Immediate Corrective Action:
Both the A/C and D/C circuits to the control cabinet were de-energized and there was enough slack in the first junction box to remove the effected portion of wire and re-attach the wire inside the cabinet.
The crew discussed the proper use of three way communication to eliminate future related incidents from happening. They discussed how the HPI tools we are taught to use and if used properly can prevent possible injury or equipment damage.
While delivering a load of material using the long line method from a helicopter, the pilot noticed some debris fly away in his peripheral vision when the helicopter main rotor blade contacted a small branch on a large pine tree. The pilot did not feel the contact and it did not affect the ship’s operation. The pilot had delivered a number of loads using a 150’ longline with 40’ slings and a manual snap eye. The operational conditions were as follows: the weather was clear, little or no wind, there were large trees at the site, the ground crew had radio communication with the ship, and completed tailboard with crews. The pilot had just placed the load and was waiting for the crew to hook the empty slings back on, when the ship drifted slightly to the left, contacting the small branch. The pilot then notified the crew by radio of a blade strike” and flew the ship to a designated landing zone. He shut the ship down and contacted his helicopter maintenance manager who instructed him to perform an inspection procedure on the helicopter main rotor blades. The pilot completed the inspection procedure, reported the results to the maintenance manager who cleared the pilot to resume flying. The pilot flew back to the jobsite where the pilot and the ground crew tailboarded the incident and on the work to be completed. The pilot completed thirteen more picks, with no further problems.
A structure erection crew was in the final stages of setting a Tubular Guyedí¢”š¬V (TGV) structure when one of the 7/8″ guy wires gave way, allowing the tower to twist in a counter clockwise direction. As the tower spun, the twisting motion allowed the guy wire to get tied up into the shackle release rope. Ultimately pulling the release shackle on the west side of the spreader bar, where the tension on the load line of the crane had just been “slacked off “to accommodate the plumbing of the structure. After the release shackle was pulled out, it let go of the sling that held the spreader bar on the west side of the arm. This allowed the tower to continue rotation counterclockwise until the entire load was suspended by the east side of the spreader bar. Once the weight shifted to that location, the crane rotated counterclockwise, sliding three of the outriggers off their pads. At that point, the operator remained calm and had the presence of mind to hold the swing brake on in order to keep the load from continuing to swing, thereby avoiding the potential of the structure to cause harm or damage. Before the incident occurred, the setting crew methodically stood up the tower without incident, and attached the four guy wires down to their respective anchors. The tower was plumbed with the use of “airline blocks” (4 part blocks) which are attached to the down guys and anchor attachments, with the fall line of the blocks being attached to the winches on the front of the crew trucks. In the process of plumbing the tower, the appropriate steel grip attaching the winch cable to the airline block “fall line” was sucked into the block causing the grip to be knocked off, once this happened the airline cable ran approximately 50′ of cable through the blocks until the eye hit the block. As the eye hit the block it created a shock G .. ., u p wave which transferred up to the grip on the 7/8″ down guy kicking it off the guy wire. Within a very short period of time the tower began the counterclockwise rotation previously described. After the load had safely settled, and the side load removed from the crane, the crew safely lowered the tower back to the ground, without injury or equipment damage. The crane has been inspected by the Crane Manufacturer as being safe to operate and no harm was done to the boom of the crane. Root Causeí¢”š¬ the near miss is due to the lack of attention to detail. With the grip nearing the blocks, the crew should have cut off the guy wire and lengthened out the blocks to avoid having the grip come into contact with the blocks.
During an outage to replace a water leak in a power plant the water supply to a chemical lab needed to be shut off. To mitigate the issue of clearing the eye wash and drench showers to the lab that is required to be operational the company decided to bring in a temporary drench shower and plumb it into an operational water supply while work was performed. During a walkthrough of the facility by another employee it was discovered that the temporary shower was hooked up to a hot water supply line with the potential to deliver hot water (158%) to the drench shower if needed. Work was stopped until the supply line was transferred to a cold water supply line. The supply line used was also too small to deliver the required amount of water to the drench shower (20 gpm). No accidents or need to use the shower occurred during this outage however the potential of further injury and or inadequate measures to adequately deal with an exposure to employee were present.
CableCom LLc was installing fiber optics in Angwin. What is significant is that one of their guys rode a PG&E secondary pole down till it hung up in some trees The pole was rotted off completely at base, tagged N (PG&E designation for rotten, not stubbable, replace). They were installing and wrapping fiber optics through trees. Pole held only communications and dead-end open wire 1/0 alum secondary with one service. Tag indicates it is scheduled for replacement, but likely low priority as inaccessible, only secondary, and in Angwin. I talked with CableCom foreman and his main concern was retrieving the binding tool left on the line, and somewhat relieved that no injury. I explained the meaning of the PG&E tags, as there are plenty on the hill that are rotten and it could happen again. Pole could have been climbed if supported, and I would hope that any lineman at PG&E would have seen the tag…of course, any lineman from anywhere should have had the self-preservatory instinct to support this pole.
A crew had energized wire come down while replacing a deadend bell. A journeyman and hot apprentice were in bucket preparing to change a deadend, when they thought the wire pulled through the tie on the adjacent pole. When they came up on the hoist a couple clicks the wire separated from a strain sleeve (nico pressed sleeve) at the other pole. The wire fell in between the secondary and phone hitting the ground at the base of the pole, it arced off of a stop sign briefly before the guys in the air cut it in the clear. It was discovered that a 1/0 sleeve was pressed on the 2 strand primary which caused the failure. No one was hurt during the incident.
Report of a tire blowout on a new trouble truck that had less than 7,000 miles on it. The tire brand was Continental. If anyone else has experienced a similar occurrence with this brand of tire let us know
While getting ready to pull old poles, crew had boom out and heard a thud on the ground. Evidently a large shackle which had been affixed to the upper part of the underside of the boom had fallen off its holding eye. After some brief investigation, it was revealed that the straight pin use in the shackle had a missing cotter pin. Luckily no personnel were injured.
On 4/27/10 I had a call to a car-pole accident. I arrived to find an aluminum street light pole with what I thought to be 120/240 volt street light heads. I was asked by the Fire Department to clear the wires so they could move the pole out of the street as this was a City of San Mateo pole. I found the energized wires clear of the pole and only had to cut the ground wire and tape the other ‘energized wires.’ I did not find any ‘high voltage’ signs on the splice box nearby or on the pole. I was surprised to find that this was a high voltage system when the city worker asked me to de-energize the R.O. (regulated output) circuit which can be 2400+ volts to ground. This is primary voltage, but it was not marked as such in this case. The box was just marked ‘Street Lights’, and not ‘High Voltage’. These voltage wires go right up into the street lights. This could be dangerous because it is not properly marked, and any worker could be mistaken into thinking he’s working with 120/240 volts when in fact he’s working with high voltage. If they’re not wearing proper PPE this could have negative consequences. Additionally, the splice boxes are not bolted down as they should be for high voltage conductors.
These lights are 100% owned and maintained by the City of San Mateo.
We keep saying that reporting near-misses can help us avoid similar hazards in the future. And now we have some evidence that near-miss reporting works!
A four man line crew was removing jumpers on the upper circuit on a 3-wire double dead-end pole. The pole also had a buck line feeding one way to a set of cutouts which were closed. The downstream side of the feed had all transformer fuses open to remove any load potential. The upper circuit was #6 solid copper and the lower buck wire was # 4 ACSR. Two journeymen were in a double bucket using 8-foot shotguns to open and transfer the wire into the clear.”
As the aluminum drop-on was being removed from the upper circuit the wire broke pulling the jumper wire into the lower circuit causing a ball of fire and blowing two upstream 80 amp fuses at the feed pole. Both linemen were uninjured and there was no other damage to company or customer property.
It was determined at a crew tailboard meeting shortly after the incident that there was one main cause for the accident. The drop-on clamp being removed was made of aluminum and although the #6 copper was line guarded a high resistance connection had developed causing the wire to degrade at the tap location. The lineman reported that the drop-on clamp was practically frozen onto the copper wire, but after some pressure it started to turn and then the wire broke. He also reported that there was no indication of any corrosion as the drop-on was covering the bad spot.” Our company policy long ago has prohibited the use of copper/aluminum combination drop-on connections, but in this case the construction was about 50 years old.
Approximately two weeks after this incident was reported in a department-wide near-miss discussion, a crew working storm damage encountered a similar incident in which a frozen” drop was caused by another corroded connection. In this case the crew cut out the tap with hot cutters and made repairs. The foreman of the crew said that he was glad the first near miss was reported. It increased awareness and helped avert another potential accident. Here it is: evidence that near-miss reports works!
Two linemen were in a double bucket truck while a troubleman was clearing the line. When the dispatcher opened an inertia switch, the switch exploded, energizing phone line where the two lineman were located. There were no injuries and the crew pulled off the job until they were 100% certain that the job could be done safely. There have been several failures of these switches recently, which led this committee to question administrative controls by the company until the problem is corrected. The manufacturer of the switch has identified the problem and has started a retrofitting existing switches that are suppose to eliminate the failures. It is advised to stay clear of these switches and anything that could be energized in the event of a failure until all switching is complete.
Two linemen were in a double bucket truck while a troubleman was clearing the line. When the dispatcher opened an inertia switch, the switch exploded, energizing phone line where the two lineman were located. There were no injuries and the crew pulled off the job until they were 100% certain that the job could be done safely. There have been several failures of these switches recently, which led this committee to question administrative controls by the company until the problem is corrected. The manufacturer of the switch has identified the problem and has started a retrofitting existing switches that are suppose to eliminate the failures. It is advised to stay clear of these switches and anything that could be energized in the event of a failure until all switching is complete.
Third party ran over a pad mount transformer. After the transformer was de-energized but before grounds were applied the supervisor on site ordered the tow truck driver to pull the vehicle off of the transformer. A warning to all should be given that if it is not grounded it’s not dead.
While working on and around a 1600A electrical panel, electricians had noticed that the main switch handle was broken. Since the spring in a 1600A panel is fairly strong, a pair of channel locks was being used to operate the switch. In the course doing their routine work, one of the electricians discovered that the metal that was exposed, underneath the broken insulated handle, was in fact directly connected to B phase of the panel. They tested it at full voltage.
So, the heads up here is that many of us in the electrical trade did not consider the parts of the handle in a main switch as being directly connected to live electrical buss. This case proves that assumption to be false. In this case, someone working on this panel, or a maintenance person coming in contact with this expose metal could have been injured.
Although it is not known what the age of this breaker is, it would be best to consider all parts of any breaker as energized until testing.
This is another reason to replace a breaker when there is any damage to the handle.
While performing the work in the course of connecting a large commercial customer, a utility service crew was testing and inspecting the newly connected conductors from the customer’s main panel to the service connection point.
The panel was a 3000A panel, with multiple compartments for the landing section, meter section, Main, and distribution circuit breakers.
By coincidence, the meter technician from the utility was there at the same time, doing his meter wiring for the current coils.
The service crew completed all of their tests, and everything proved to be phased and connected in a correct manner.
At the end of this process, just as the service crew was re-installing the panel covers, the meter technician noticed something in the rear of the panel that did not look right.
The service crew went to get a flashlight. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that a bag of connecting bolts for the panel had shifted during shipping. It had landed between the main buss bar of A phase and the back of the main board panel. It was a plastic bag, full of bolts, nuts, and washers. Although the plastic had worn through on many different places on the bag, none of the metal items in the bag had connected a path to the grounded panel cover in the back of the panel. Therefore, the continuity test had proved normal.
As the crew was attempting to free up the bag and remove it, the electricians arrived. They said, “So, that’s where that bag of bolts went. We assumed the factory never sent them, so we had to order another bag.”
This incident reveals why it is necessary to make a good visual inspection of any and all equipment. None of us can ever predict what kind of hazards that might be present, so expect the unexpected.
In this case, the plastic on this bag of bolts could have deteriorated over time with the increased temperature of the panel under load. Upon making contact with the grounded panel surface, it could have acted like a bomb, perhaps sending small metal fragments out in all directions. It is likely this would have been catastrophic, with devastating consequences for the customer power equipment. More important, a catastrophic event of this nature could cause injury or death to anyone in the vicinity.
Personnel at a Power Plant avoided a significant near miss. At approximately midnight on a Sunday morning a main bank “C” phase transformer, which is in the area just east of the turbine building at an elevation of 85′ exploded. The blast sent debris into the North side of the Administration Building through several windows as high up as the fifth floor. Although there is no mention of the safety hazard of this event from plant-wide communication, one employee wrote an AR (Action Request) re: the personnel safety issue and the need to evaluate the impact on personnel safety for those individuals on the North Eastern portion of the Admin Bldg. Significant injury was avoided solely due to the time of incident.
A 4-man crew was performing some switching to open up a loop system in correlation with the control center/and switching orders. The crew arrived at the job site and the switching orders called to open a parallel system at a set of down jumpers. The two journeyman linemen proceeded to remove the first jumper… with the hotline clamp in a grab-all stick the lineman proceeded to lift the hotline clamp. As the clamp was lifted a large arc grew from the wire to the newly lifted clamp, causing concern to the lineman who placed the jumper back in the original position and informed his foreman that something didn’t seem right, and to call the control center to verify regulations between the two stations were set. The control center confirmed that everything was in order to proceed with lifting at the jumpers. The lineman got back into position and lifted the clamp again only to experience a larger arc now jumping a gap of approximately 3-4 feet from the wire to the lifted clamp! The lineman again placed the jumper after not being able to break the arc with the 3-4 foot swing ability of the jumper. The crew decided to look for a safer way to open the load by mounting a set of cut-outs at a different location and opening it with a load break device. Once this was done a couple of customers asked what happened to their power and why it was disrupted? Further review of the situation revealed that the control center failed to notice an open point in the line causing the crew to drop load between the open cut-outs to an already existing open point. The jumpers lifted were breaking load and not indifference between the stations. (Posted August 20, 2008)
A troubleman while performing routine switching for load reasons was operating various overhead switches with permission of the control center. Arriving at a newly installed switch the troubleman proceeded to close the switch which unfortunately caused a large outage. Further investigation revealed that the newly installed switch was not properly terminated resulting in a phase to phase fault de-energizing two stations and many customers. The switch was not damaged and no injuries were reported. (Posted August 20, 2008)
While stringing in a new conductor for a 4 wire 12kV overhead line an apprentice lineman, in the process of catching off the first phase with a grip and a sling had removed a ground cable to better position the newly landed wire to allow for the next run to be pulled in. The apprentice was controlling the tail of the new phase so it wouldn’t flip around and possibly get into any energized equipment on the other side of the pole. Once he removed the ground lead he became in series with the line causing him to receive a shock. No injuries were reported from this incident. (Committees discussion regarding this incident is that we will post this as a near miss but this is considered an accident and should be reported as such. We are not sure of the severity of the shock but want to emphasize that medical evaluation and accident reporting with the employer should be done when the severity of a shock is enough that it could upset normal heart rhythm which could happen with secondary voltages.) (Posted August 20, 2008)