On August 12, 2002, at 6:40 pm, a Chinese immigrant restaurant owner (decedent) died after being electrocuted by 110 volts of electricity. The restaurant owner and his wife were refurbishing a restaurant they had recently purchased. They spent the day cleaning the kitchen area while waiting for a washing machine repairman to arrive. Earlier in the day, the decedent had removed the electric cord to a single door, glass-fronted vertical cooler on rollers. He replaced the electrical cord from the unit with an electrical cord he had fabricated himself by attaching one end of a 10 foot length of 10/2 wire to the cooler and the other end to one-foot length of extension cord which plugged into the wall receptacle. The unit was moved around the kitchen all day while the kitchen was cleaned. The ground wire on the 10/2 length of wire came loose and came in contact with the metal frame of the cooler. The owner then moved the cooler eight to twelve inches cattycorner to a gas cook stove. The owner, who was hot, sweaty and shirtless bent down between the cook stove and the cooler. As he did so, his chest touched the outside aluminum casing of the cooler as his back touched the metal stove. He was electrocuted when the electric current traveled from the cooler through him to ground through the stove.

To prevent similar incidents from occurring, Kentucky Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program recommends:

  • Perform a hazard evaluation at work site before any work is commenced.
  • Only persons properly trained in electrical procedures should perform electrical services.

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A summary of this case is available as the additional file listed below.

02KY131_Summary.pdf (27 kB)
Case Summary