Construction worker killed by utility line electrocution on jobsite near Seattle

Officials gathered near the ditch where a construction worker was fatally electrocuted in Edmonds, Washington. Credit: KIRO TVOfficials gathered near the ditch where a construction worker was fatally electrocuted in Edmonds, Washington. Credit: KIRO TV

A construction worker was killed Wednesday afternoon after he was electrocuted while working on a hospital expansion in Edmonds, Washington.

According to a report from KIRO TV in Seattle, crews were moving utility lines on a jobsite on the campus of Swedish Hopsital. One of the workers was “in a ditch working with a compressed air tool,” Edmonds police told KIRO. When the worker made contact with one of the utility lines he was electrocuted before dying at the scene.

Electrocution is the fourth leading cause of construction fatalities in the U.S. Last year we put together a list of three steps workers can take to avoid the danger of electrocution on the jobsite.

The accident briefly knocked out the power on parts of the hospital campus and in apartments nearby.

The worker, who was not identified, worked for Sellen Construction who is listed on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration website as having only two minor safety violations in the last five years.

The accident is under investigation but Sellen CEO Bob McCleskey called it a “tragic circumstance for me personally.” He continued, “Safety is the most important thing and somehow we failed today. We’re going to find out why.”