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Monday, 30 July 2007 19:00


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Installing Fiber Optic

March of 98
A contractor was installing fiber optic cable on a existing 230kva line near Boise Idaho. The contractor was replacing the static line with the new fiber. In order to do this they had to temporarily guy the structure where they set up the fiber reels. Then they would pull out the existing static and pulled in the new fiber. On this particular day, the structure they were pulling from had a single phase 7.2kva line running approximately 30 feet from and 90 degrees to the 230kva line. So temporary guying was installed on this 90 foot pole and had to go over the top of the distribution line. The foreman and his crew installed the temporary guy the day before they strung the fiber. On this day, while removing the temporary guy over the hot 7.2kva line the foreman unwrapped the Pre-form attached to a temporary anchor and walked the guy into the hot phase. He never regained consciousness and was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. There are a lot of question as to how a journeyman lineman promoted to foreman could make such a simple but deadly mistake. In this posting I’m only reporting the short version, so there are a lot of details left out. But the fact is that it only takes a moment of not being on top of what you are doing, as linemen and crew, to produce a tragedy. Take care out there and remember what we do for a living can cost us our lives.

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