Medical Services and First Aid » Pole Top and Manhole Rescue Requirements

Manhole rescue training

1910.269(a)(2)(i) requires that workers be trained in and familiar with the safety-related work practices, procedures, and requirements that pertain to their job assignments. This includes pole top rescue for those who work on overhead lines and manhole rescue for those who work underground.

Because the conditions under which a worker might need to be rescued are so varied, no standard exists for rescue procedures; companies need to develop their own techniques. Guidance for overhead rescue procedures can be found in The Lineman's and Cableman's Handbook, Ninth Edition, Section 49 (Kurtz et al., 1997, McGraw-Hill Co.)

Other "269" rescue requirements include:

  • Rescue equipment, such as a tripod with a retrieval line, must be available when entering an enclosed space, such as an underground manhole or certain types of vaults (see 1910.269(e)(3)).

  • Overhead rescue training

    When performing overhead live-line bare hand work, bucket trucks must be available that have a lower set of controls for lowering workers that may be injured (see 1910.269(q)(3)(viii)).

In any rescue, rescuers need to:

  • Determine how to protect themselves as well as their injured coworker. It is important for the rescuer to think clearly about what needs to be done. For an electrical contact injury, the victim may still be in contact with a live conductor, especially at lower voltages. In underground manholes and vaults, the atmosphere may have become immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH).

  • Place the injured worker into a position in which CPR and first aid can begin as soon as possible.

1910.269 Photo credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory


1910.269(a)(2)(i) on rescue training requirements

1910.269(e)(3) on rescue equipment

1910.269(q)(3)(viii) on lower bucket truck controls

Overhead Line Work
Enclosed Spaces and Working Underground
Medical Services and First Aid
Hazard Assessments and Job Briefings
Use of Aerial Lifts