PORTLAND, Ore. - A landscape worker lost his life on Wednesday when he was electrocuted while cutting hedges.
According to Lt. Rich Chatman with Portland Fire & Rescue, the worker was using a long pole with a saw connected to the end of it to cut 20-foot tall hedges when at one point, the pole made contact with a 7,000 volt power line.
When the pole hit, the electricity in the line tried to take the most direct route to the ground, electrocuting the man.
He died instantly. Emergency responders couldn’t even approach him until a PGE crew arrived and cut the power.
The worker has not yet been identified, but fire officials said he was around 30 years old and was working for a private contractor.
The incident happened around 12:15 p.m. at SW 26th and Richardson Road.
Chatman said utilities put the highest voltage lines – in this case the 7,000 volt residential distribution line – at the top of utility poles in hopes that nobody will come in contact with them.
Firefighters recommend that anytime you’re working around power lines to be vigilant of where those lines are.