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Painter Electrocuted at FL Jobsite

Thursday, September 22, 2016

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Federal safety authorities say they are investigating the recent death of a 50-year-old, experienced painter in Jacksonville, FL.

Police say that Anthony Dwayne Smith, of Jacksonville, was approximately 20 feet in the air inside a cherry picker lift when he was shocked by a power line Sept. 15, reports relate. He had been pressure washing and painting the side of a building in the city's Riverside neighborhood.

His coworkers found Smith unconscious inside the lift just before 11 a.m.; no one reported seeing the incident.


CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay

Overhead power lines pose a threat to construction workers.

Smith was taken to a local hospital and airlifted to University of Florida Health-Gainesville, where he died Sunday (Sept. 18), according to reports.

Family members described the Navy veteran and father of five daughters as a “family man” and a “very hard worker.”

Experienced Worker

The Florida Times-Union reported that Smith worked for Washington Painting Services, of Jacksonville, and had more than 20 years of experience in the field.

He worked for the contractor for 10 years intermittently, his girlfriend, Leesa Agent, told the newspaper, noting that Smith had been “meticulous about his work.”

“He was very careful, so the fact that this accident occurred is astounding,” his sister, Adrienne Smith, told the newspaper.

Washington Painting Services did not immediately return a call Wednesday (Sept. 21) seeking comment on the fatal incident.

Investigation Launched

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death. Overhead power lines pose a threat to construction workers. OSHA's website notes that if workers are within 10 feet of uninsulated power lines they are to be de-energized by the power company.

OSHA’s investigation could take up to six months.

A review of the agency’s database did not indicate any past violations for the contractor.


Tagged categories: Access; Fatalities; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; lift; OSHA; Painters; Power washing

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