Lineman Hospitalized with Heat Stress (KV 191)

 

What Happened?

At 3:30 p.m. on June 19, 2018, an employee was working with four coworkers, setting and replacing wooden electrical poles. A coworker noticed that the employee seemed to be working slowly and asked him if he was feeling okay. The employee responded that he was fine and continued working. A few minutes later, the employee was kneeling on the ground and did not look well. The employee was immediately placed in the an air conditioned truck and was given cold drinks. The employee was sent to the hospital and treated for heat stroke and renal failure.

Contributing Factors

The employee and his co-workers didn’t take the heat exhaustion symptoms seriously.

What Can We Learn?

Tools

Questioning Attitude: The employee and his co-workers should have asked: “what is the worst thing that is most likely to happen to me or my peer?.” This would have caused them to stop and think about the consequences of continuing work with heat exhaustion symptoms. And, would have led them to decide to take a break and rehydrate.

Traps

Time Pressure may have caused the crew to feel a sense of urgency which pushed the employee to make a poor decision.

The Physical Environment was very hot and the employee pushed himself beyond the limits.    

Ask the Right Questions

How does this relate to our work?

Where do we have similar traps?

What Tools can we use to avoid a similar incident?

Was a stop work point missed?