Optical Fiber Installation Death (KV127)


What Happened?

At approximately 12:45 p.m. on September 15, 2017, an employee was installing optical fiber cable on existing electric utility poles. He was tasked with the installation of a new fiber optic cable along the horizontal communication zone of the electric utility's supply poles. The employee used a mounted rotating platform on a vehicle that was positioned along a roadside. As he pulled or jigged the fiber optic cable from a stationary position through a three-hole clamp mounted on the cable's strand line near the pole, the pole's guy-wire became energized after contacting a 7,200 volt supply conductor. With energization of the guy-wire and his hand on the grounded fiber optic strand line, he completed a circuit to ground that caused him to receive severe electric shock and burns. He was transported to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries and died.

Contributing Factors

Energized guy-wire.

What Can We Learn?


By using a Questioning Attitude the worker would have considered the consequences and likelihood of him completing a circuit to ground.

By following the Procedures, the worker would have ensured he was performing the task at hand in the prescribed way.


Overconfidence caused the employee to overestimate his knowledge, underestimate risks, and exaggerate his ability to control events.     

Time Pressure may have caused the worker to take risks and short-cuts to complete his work faster.  

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?