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Painter Electrocuted in Massachusetts

Friday, March 24, 2017

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A Massachusetts man died Tuesday (March 21) afternoon while he was painting the exterior of Fire Department Engine House 5 in Salem.

Salem Police Capt. Fred Ryan confirmed that James Kennedy, 59, of Salem, was electrocuted when his scissor lift came into contact with power lines.

The incident happened around 3 p.m., however firefighters were unable to immediately reach Kennedy due to the energized equipment. Salem News reports that it took the National Grid approximately 11 minutes to respond and shut off power to the line.

National Grid spokesman Bob Kievra said that nearly 70 people were without power as police and Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials investigated the scene. Restoration time took about two hours.

Both ends of the street were shut down as crews worked to get to Kennedy. When rescuers reached him he was reportedly unconscious. He was transferred to Beverly Hospital, according to, where he was pronounced dead.

Kennedy was an employee of Baystate Painting, which had been hired to make small improvements to the facade of the building in preparation for a rededication ceremony, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll said.

”It’s an awful tragedy,” Driscoll said. “Certainly, our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the victim involved in this accident.”

Baystate Painting could not immediately be reached for comment. A phone number listed for the company was not accepting calls as of Thursday (March 23) morning.

OSHA's online records do not show any recent citations against Baystate Painting.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Building Envelope; Building envelope; Building facades; Health and safety; North America; Safety

Comment from john lienert, (3/24/2017, 9:06 AM)

"Be aware of your surroundings AT ALL TIMES"

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