Person electrocuted by energized metal in a building

How can this video be saved?

Maybe you can email channel 6 for it. This is buried in a java script that is giving me an error when I try to open it.

This incident only reinforces the question of why they don’t require bonding steel framing. In a commercial job it gets bonded via all the metal boxes and raceways but in residential there is not going to be much metal.

I didn’t see the deail on this particular accident but my guess is he was holding a metal dryer vent pipe in one hand and touched the “hot” vent box in the wall.
Personally I think they should be bonding every isolated section of metal framing. That could be as simple as using a metal box, fastened with a nut and bolt to the steel, bonding via the egc.

I’m not familiar with huge developments of tract homes. Haven’t seen any metal studs and framing used around here. What is the standard procedure for grounding the framing? Is the framing solid enough to be effectively grounded at all points if the attachment to the grounding electrode system is only one point? Is the method of attachment just a mechanical lug? I assume there are rules for tying this framing in to the grounding system, I haven’t had the need to look it up, though my journeyman license is up for renewal and I need some cont. ed credits so I think I’ll make a point of looking this up during my studying.

ok as soon as I posted these questions, bingo, there was Greg’s post. Wow, I can’t believe there aren’t reqs. for residential.

James, you end up at 250.104© and the question becomes whether it is exposed. I say yes it is, if nowhere else, at the metal box where the dryer vent piping attaches to the dryer. That is why I bet that is where the “appliance driver” got killed.
If they do end up invoking 250.104 they will be using 250.66 to size the bonding. That may be excessive but 8ga is not unreasonable. A 14ga would have operated the 20a O/C device feeding this fault.

’Bizarre’ Electrocution Prompts Home Builder Lawsuit

POSTED: 5:37 pm EST February 21, 2006

UPDATED: 6:50 am EST February 22, 2006

One of the nation’s largest home builders, its electrical subcontractors and a Central Florida county have been named in a wrongful death lawsuit after an appliance deliveryman was electrocuted in a “bizarre accident,” according to a Problem Solvers investigation.

Deliveryman Rafael Ugalde died while on the job at 2777 Shearwater St. in Lennar’s Lost Lake Reserve in Clermont, Fla.

Ugalde was electrocuted even though power to the room had been turned off, the report said.

“Wires behind a hallway wall hold the key to the bizarre accident that killed Ugalde,” Problem Solver Mike Holfeld said.

Attorney O.B. Samuel, who has documented the investigation into Ugalde’s death, said a drywall screw had been fired through the yellow wire casing, piercing the hot wire inside and the metal stud. That created a giant power circuit that electrified the house, according to the report.

“When they tore down the wall, it was quite obvious what had happened,” Samuel said.

An electrical subcontractor for the Lennar project found 110 volts flowing through the screws of the room’s mirror, the report said.

“That discovery is important because Rafael Ugalde was electrocuted as he hooked the dryer hose to a vent,” Holfeld said.

The medical examiner noted that the metal duct and vent tested positive for 110 volts, according to the report.

Under state code, the electric wires should have been bundled with a plastic strap or metal clip. However, there was no evidence the wires were ever bundled.

Local 6 News also learned that Ugalde’s shoes were wet while he was in the structure yet he never touched an outlet.

“Five months later and no one has accepted responsibility for the fatal mistake,” Holfeld said.

“Well, then this story changes
because we’re not talking about an accident, we’re talking murder,” Lisa Ugalde said.

The lawsuit’s trail of blame includes the Lake County building inspector.

Documents obtained by Local 6 showed an inspector approved the electrical wiring on Sept. 6, 14 days before Ugalde was electrocuted.

“No denials were issued for the wiring,” Holfeld said. “Ironically, the final approval was issued two weeks after Ugalde died.”

The lawsuit is expected to be filed this week.

An attorney for Lennar Homes told Local 6 News that new safety protocols have been put in place since the accident. The company said it is confident that the rest of the homes in the subdivision are safe.

“Lake County and the electrical subcontractors are not talking,” Holfeld said. “So, the question remains, who made the mistake? And, who will a jury hold accountable?”

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.

Just goes to show…you never know what you will touch that may be HOT!

Better access for viewing. I understand that the proposed requirement to bond all metal studs was not accepted.…01329.200k.asx…01329.200k.asx

Joe Tedesco:

Excellent post.

A learning experience for all Inspectors involved in Construction Phase Inspections.

love the image of the screw going through the NM itself…classic…:slight_smile:

The buzz over on the Fl IAEI bb is that this wil get added to the “glitch” amendments in November. We will be bonding steel framing. I am just not sure what the accepted methods will be.

There is an addon for Firefox that will download almost any video and convert it for you (if it needs to be conerted).

Here is a link:

Drywallers and romex…it’s as simple as oil and water.

That screw is only 1.25" long. There never should have been unprotected Romex close enough for a 1.25" screw to hit it.

What always scares me is the deep boxes that place the Romex nearly up against the drywall on the backside. If the rockers miss the stud…

Also, the stucco guys use a pneumatic stapler and staples about 2-1/2 inches long. When they miss the stud, look out!

Don’t forget to subtract the 1/2 for drywall, which means the wire was 5/8 or closer to the backside of the wall.

Good link, George.

But did you notice that this post was over two and half years old when you resurrected it???

If this had happened on a AFCI or GFCI protested circuit would it have trip the breaker?

A GFCI should have tripped before the person was seriously harmed.

BTW they make longer drywall screws. 1.25’ is no guarantee that someone won’t hit a wire.

The Fla building code now requires that steel framing is bonded … because of this accident. NFPA has not seen that need yet. It is as easy as using a bonded steel box in each isolated section of framing firmly attached to the steel stud. It should be a recomended wiring practice for all sparkies, code or not. The material cost is nominal and the added labor is zero.
I understand there are even plastic boxes now with metal mounting flanges and a bonding screw.

Looks like this was the proposed change:

Section E3303

Bonding Metal Framing Members:

Metal framing members. Metal framing members shall be bonded to the equipment grounding conductor for the circuit that may energize the framing and be sized in accordance with the National Electric Code Table 250.122. For the purpose of this section, a grounded metal outlet box attached to the framing shall be permitted.



This year an appliance installer died from electrocution due to an energized metal framing member that came in contact with the metal duct that was connected to the appliance. Bonding of the [FONT=ArialMT][size=2][FONT=Fixedsys][size=1]metal framing members is necessary to counteract this possibility.[/size][/FONT][/size][/FONT]