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overhead power line toolbox talk

Toolbox talk on Overhead power lines

An overhead power line is a structure used in electric power transmission and distribution to transmit electrical energy across large distances. 

Overhead power lines can be dangerous if they are on a construction site. 

The one problem with overhead power lines is lifting and rigging operation with cranes, cherry pickers and high lifts around the areas where the overhead power lines are passing.

However, having contact between the lifting equipment with the overhead powerlines can result in injuries among the workers and damage to the lifting equipment. 

OSHA Occupational safety and health administration of the US has a standard of procedure expected of anyone carrying a task around powerlines in power line safety (up to 350 kV)–equipment operations OSHA regulation 1926.1408

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Overhead Power lines safety: How can you promote overhead power line safety today?

  • Remember to shut out power from the overhead powerlines and contact your supervisor about it before working in the area. 
  • Train all persons responsible for the task on the safety aspect of the job. 
  • Use competent persons for any work around the power line. 
  • If possible, avoid working with a crane or any lifting equipment if the work is near the overhead power lines.
  • The lifting equipment must maintain a safe distance of at least 20 feet away from the powerlines when the power lines are live. 
  • Inspect and maintain your lifting equipment before engaging it for work around an overhead power line.
  • Use an insulated tagline or non-conductive tagline during work in that area.
  • Avoid stacking materials near or under the overhead powerlines.
  • Reduce the work speed of the lifting equipment when you’re near the power lines.
  • Ensure that the equipment does not travel on uneven ground to prevent the machine from swinging into the power line.
  • Make sure you stay 20 feet away from the overhead powerlines and inform others to do the same.
  • There should be a dedicated spotter to assist in the lifting operation around a power line. 
  • Create a safe route for the machine to follow when it wants to pass under an overhead power line.

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