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HIGH VOLTAGE ACCIDENTS
High voltage accidents occur when workers don't plan properly. In construction there are plenty of opportunities to make contact with a high voltage source. Landscapers planting trees and shrubs, antenna installations, roofers installing roofing materials, crane operations, scaffold building, underground utility work, dump trucks unloading are just a few that can cause problem
One of the biggest killers in the industry is power lines. Frequently they are strung overhead and attached to power poles providing primary and secondary service to homes, businesses and construction sites. Always provide for safe clearances when working near electric lines. Keep the line in your sight or have a worker designated as the spotter. Consider all lines 'hot' even though they look safe. NEVER, NEVER touch a rig in motion near electric lines and keep co-workers and bystanders away.
Another area of concern is underground electric lines. More and more of them are being install around the country. These lines can be severed or damaged and electrical injury is a real danger. To prevent this type of accident, the local utility locator service should be contacted. On average they require 72 hours notice to come out and locate the buried cables. Play it safe, contact them early and follow their locator stakes.
Should contact be made, keep everyone clear of the piece of equipment and any load it may be handling, and beware of fallen wires or cables. The operator should stay on the rig and move away from the line if possible. Don't touch anyone who is in contact with the rig or load. Contact the local power company at once. If necessary, contact local emergency personnel.
OSHA has specific regulations covering minimum distances from electric lines. - They can be found in Subpart K - Electrical and Subpart N - Cranes. As a rule of thumb, for lines rated 5OkV. or below, the minimum clearance between the lines and any part of the crane or load shall be 10 feet.
By following the rules, we can prevent high voltage accidents.
BE ALERT AND ALWAYS PREPARED FOR HAZARDS!
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