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Electrical Lineman Burned in Accident

Lineman Burned in Accident
Rochester, Minnesota, May 4, 2007 -- An electrical lineman is being treated for burns at a St. Paul hospital after an accident while digging near a transformer.

The mishap also caused a 45-minute power outage in part of the city's southeast side, a spokesman said.

The 14 year Line worker was injured while extending power to a construction site just south of downtown. He was listed in good condition at Regions Hospital, the official said.

The employee suffered "arc flash burns" on his arms, stomach and face. That type of injury does not involve a continuous flow of electrical current but is something like a fire surging and jumping across a distance.

At the time, he and another line worker were using a jackhammer while excavating near a transformer to connect underground electrical service.

The employee was wearing protective gear, including flame-retardant shirt, a safety vest, safety gloves, glasses and a hard hat, officials said.

Both employees were taken to Saint Marys Hospital. One employee was transferred to Region's Burn Center. The other employee was not injured.

The company will investigate the accident, and the state Occupational Health and Safety Administration has been contacted, a spokesman said.

The outage occurred about 1:15 p.m. It cut power to an estimated 1,100 homes and businesses.
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