We talk a lot about catastrophic falls on the hub, because they are the stories you hear about the most when it comes to severe ladder injuries. But we can’t forget to teach our people about the hazards they face before they ever step on a ladder. For example, the following story:
OMAHA, Neb. —A man is critically hurt after the ladder he was holding made contact with a live power line.
Emergency crews were called to an apartment building near 108th and Blondo for a report that a man had possibly been electrocuted around 11 a.m. Wednesday.
Witnesses said a couple of men were working on gutters on the building and their ladder fell backward, making contact with a live electric line.
“I turned around and saw a flash, and I saw a ladder that was on the wire and it was kind of sliding along the wire,” said Chris Schnase, a witness.
Officials said 8,000 volts of electricity were going from the line, through the ladder and through the man holding it on the ground.
“It was very scary to see, very scary. He was kind of shaking at first, then hardly not moving at all,” Schnase said.
Medics took the victim, identified by family as Pedro Armendariz, 26, to Alegent Creighton Health Creighton University Medical Center, where he remains in critical condition.
Crews worked to secure the live wire. Witnesses said the line normally hangs 7 to 10 feet from the apartment building.
When you’re out there training your people, please remember to teach them to look up and be aware of overhead power lines! If the line is too close, don’t put the ladder there, or secure the top of the ladder so there’s no way it to tip or slide into a live line. Falls aren’t the only avoidable hazards. Be safe!