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Man and Nephew Electrocuted while Working on Fiber Optic Cables


construction worker administering first aid on another worker after a workplace injury

According to KWQC, a man is dead and another in critical condition after an electrical accident occurs while working on fiber optic cables in Sterling, Illinois, on Tuesday afternoon.

Details of the Workplace Accident

Police say Robert Zulauf, 32, and his 23-year-old nephew, Jordan, worked on fiber optic cables near a Circle K on Locust Street at around 12:10 p.m. local time when the electrocution mishap occurred.

Although investigators are unsure how they came in contact with the power lines, officials responded to a call of a vehicle fire and two men injured, one of which is on fire.

When emergency crews arrived, they discovered the Zulauf’s on the ground near their bucket truck. Robert Zulauf died at the scene from injuries sustained, according to KWQC. Jordan Zulauf received an airlift to Rockford Hospital and is in critical condition. The coroner determined they received electrocution when contact was made with the power lines.

The Zulaufs worked on the fiber optic cables for Zucru Communications, owned by Robert Zulauf, reports KWQC.

On the Job Accident Statistics

The following information is provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

  • 4,821 workers died on the job in 2014.
    • On average, more than 92 deaths per week or more than 13 deaths every day.
    • Worker deaths in America are down on average, from about 38 worker deaths a day in 1970 to 13 a day in 2014.
  • Fatal work injuries involving contractors accounted for 17 percent of all fatal work injuries in 2014.

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