Unbelievable Rain Gutter Installation Causes Death
If you've been in the building industry as long as I
have, you probably know someone or a couple of people who have died from
on-the-job accidents. Building and remodeling homes can be dangerous and
we should always take as many safety precautions as possible.
Whenever you're working with large cumbersome building materials like seamless rain gutters, you had better be paying attention to electrical power lines. I was watching a building and safety video the other day, when I ran across three people that were installing a 50 foot seamless aluminum rain gutter.
For those of you who aren't familiar with electricity, aluminum conducts electricity. In other words, if I was to touch an electrical power line with an aluminum rain gutter, the electricity will travel through the rain gutter as it's searching for any type of grounding source.
I couldn't believe what I was watching, and felt so sorry for the worker who got killed while they were installing the gutters. There were two people on the roof and one person climbing up the ladder. I guess now would be a good time to mention, that the ladder was also aluminum. If the ladder was fiberglass, there is a good chance that no one would have died, because fiberglass does not conduct electricity as well as aluminum.
As luck would have it, the large aluminum rain gutter touched a high voltage power line and electrocuted the man climbing up the aluminum ladder with the other end of the rain gutter. The workers that were standing on the roof were standing on composition roof shingles which don't conduct electricity.
They weren't harmed, but the man on the latter got electrocuted, then got knocked off of the ladder and fell to the ground. That company has changed its policy and no longer allows for certain links of aluminum rain gutters to be installed, in hopes of preventing this type of problem in the future.
I can't tell you how important safety is, sometimes we just need to slow down and reevaluate certain situations. Your life and others might be counting on.