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Power line electrocutes tree trimmer

A tree trimmer was working on a tree in Minnesota when a branch hit a hot power line and electrocuted him. The workplace accident happened in Minnetonka at about 1 p.m. on June 25. The man worked for a Little Falls-based company. The tree that the 21-year-old man was working on had become a potential danger in a Minnetonka resident's yard on Townline Road.

A co-worker said that the man started to cut a branch that was too close to the power lines. When the branch tipped over, it struck a hot line and electrocuted the man for around 20 seconds. After the wire ate through the tree branch, the man was released from the shock but left hanging in his harness at 30 feet up the tree.

Another co-worker tried to pull down the man but could not lift him with the weight of the harness. When the fire departments from Minnetonka and Edina arrived, they called in high angle rescue teams. Co-workers say that it was not until about one hour after the electrocution that a firefighter was able to lower the man down to paramedics from a truck ladder. The man was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center, but he did not survive.

The workplace-related injury or death of workers could have financial consequences for their families. In Minnesota, workers' compensation law requires all employers to provide insurance to their workers, whether it is through self-insurance or provided by an insurance company. This affords financial benefits to workers who are injured on the job or come down with an occupation-related illness. Workers' compensation also offers death benefits to dependents of workers who die while they are at work. These benefits could pay for the workers' burials, and other benefits may be available.

Source: Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry, 'An employee's guide to the Minnesota workers' compensation system"

Source: CBS Minnesota, "Tree Trimmer Electrocuted By Power Line In Minnetonka", Kim Johnson, June 25, 2014

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