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Power line safety

Safety & Codes | June 1, 2009 | By:

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

The following equipment should be used with caution around overhead power lines:

  • Aluminum paint rollers
  • Backhoes
  • Concrete pumpers
  • Cranes
  • Long-handled concrete finishing floats
  • Metal building materials
  • Metal ladders
  • Raised dump truck beds
  • Scaffolds

Avoid overhead power line hazards by following these guidelines:

  • 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. Know the OSHA requirements.
  • 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 nonconductive wood or fiberglass ladders when working near power lines.

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