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Electrical Incidents:
Contact with Power Lines

Am I In Danger?

Overhead and buried power lines at your site are especially hazardous because they carry extremely high voltage. Fatal electrocution is the main risk, but burns and falls from elevations are also hazards. Using tools and equipment that can contact power lines increases the risk.

Examples of Equipment That Can Contact Power Lines

  • Aluminum paint rollers
  • Backhoes
  • Concrete pumpers
  • Cranes [For additional information, see 29 CFR 1926.1408. Note: The full power line section of the standard is from 1926.1407 through 1926.1411.]
  • Long-handled cement finishing floats
  • Metal building materials
  • Metal ladders
  • Raised dump truck beds
  • Scaffolds [For additional information, see 29 CFR 1926.451(f)(6)]

How Do I Avoid Hazards?

  • Look for overhead power lines and buried power line indicators. Post warning signs.
  • Contact utilities for buried power line locations.
  • Stay at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines.
  • Unless you know otherwise, assume that overhead lines are energized.
  • De-energize and ground lines when working near them. Other protective measures include guarding or insulating the lines.
  • Use non-conductive wood or fiberglass ladders when working near power lines.
Overhead power lines
Overhead power lines are un-insulated and can carry tens of thousands of volts, making them extremely dangerous to employees who work in their vicinity.


Safety Bulletin Sign
Contact with Power Lines


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