Two fatal accidents during the past few months underscore the need for caution when working with pump-jack staging in the vicinity of overhead wires. On December 8, 2007, 22-year-old Marcos Landaverde was installing siding on a condominium in Lowell, Mass., when a staging pole apparently became detached from the building, causing the staging to pivot away from the structure and fall. Witnesses told the Lowell Sun that Landaverde had been working at a height of 15 to 20 feet, which means he may have survived the fall had not the falling aluminum staging pole struck a 7,600-volt power transmission line, electrocuting him. The accident is being investigated by the local OSHA office, which expects to issue a final report this summer.
Two months later, on February 11 in Forks Township, Pa., 43-year-old Gary Rinker was killed and co-worker Angel Luna seriously injured when an aluminum staging pole they were erecting at the site of a small siding-repair job struck a 19,000-volt overhead line. It's not clear whether Rinker and Luna misjudged the wire's position, failed to see it...
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