<< Table of Contents

OVERHEAD POWER LINE SAFETY TIPS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

  • Follow the guidelines provided in OSHA'S Overhead Power Line Safety laminated card.

  • Develop and implement written safety programs to help workers recognize and control the hazards of contact with overhead power lines.

  • Conduct initial and daily surveys of the worksite and implement control measures and training to address hazards at the site.

  • A successful defense against electrical accidents is the continuous exercising of good judgment or common sense. All employees should be thoroughly familiar with the safety procedures for their particular jobs. When work is performed on electrical equipment, for example, some basic procedures are:

    1. Have the equipment de-energized.

    2. Ensure that the equipment remains de-energized by using some type of lockout and tag procedure.

    3. Use grounding lines when they are required.

    4. Use insulating equipment.

    5. Keep a safe distance from energized parts.

  • Don't operate equipment around overhead power lines unless you are authorized and trained to do so.

  • If an object (scaffolds, crane, etc.) must be moved in the area of overhead power lines, appoint a competent worker whose sole responsibility is to observe the clearance between the power lines and the object. Warn others if the minimum distance is not maintained.

  • Never touch an overhead line if it has been brought down by machinery or has fallen. Never assume lines are dead.

  • When a machine is in contact with an overhead line, DO NOT allow anyone to come near or touch the machine. Stay away from the machine and summon outside assistance.

  • Also, never touch a person who is in contact with a live power line.

  • Be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

  • If you should be in a vehicle that is in contact with an overhead power line, DON'T LEAVE THE VEHICLE. As long as you stay inside and avoid touching metal on the vehicle, you may avoid an electrical hazard. If you need to get out to summon help or because of fire, jump out without touching any wires or the machine, keep your feet together, and hop to safety.

  • When mechanical equipment is being operated near overhead power lines, employees standing on the ground may not contact the equipment unless it is located so that the required clearance cannot be violated even at the maximum reach of the equipment.

  • To maximize his or her own safety, an employee should always use tools that work properly. Tools must be inspected before use and, those found questionable, removed from service and properly tagged. Tools and other equipment should be regularly maintained. Inadequate maintenance can cause equipment to deteriorate, resulting in an unsafe condition.

  • Tools that are used by employees to handle energized conductors must be designed and constructed to withstand the voltages and stresses to which they are exposed.

  • Use the personal protective equipment appropriate for the job that is performed. This equipment may consist of rubber insulating gloves, hoods, sleeves, matting, blankets, etc. These items must be inspected prior to each use and tested annually.

  • When working near overhead power lines, the use of non-conductive wooden or fiberglass ladders is recommended. Aluminum ladders and metal scaffolds or frames are efficient conductors of electricity.

  • Avoid storing materials under or near overhead power lines.