Working near overhead power lines is extremely dangerous. That is because most of these are usually live and any accidental contact with them could easily lead to serious injuries and even death. Whether you are working on elevated work platforms such as ladders, cranes and scaffolds or operating sprayer booms, irrigation pipes and material handlers, you need to be extremely cautious in your work. Here, you will find all the safety tips to keep you out of harm's way as you go about your work.
Start With a Worksite Inspection
Inspecting the worksite before commencing the work goes a long way in ensuring you identify all the potential hazards associated with the power lines. Look for anything that could potentially cause injury or harm. Therefore, identify things such as potential damage to the overhead power lines while working and estimate the distance within which you will be working in relation to the power lines. This will help you assess how close you are likely to come to the power lines while working. A worksite inspection aims to help you assess the risks involved when working near the overhead power lines.
Set Up Safe Distances or Exclusion Zones
From your worksite inspection, you should have identified all the risk elements. Set up exclusion zones and mark safe distances. These are areas that could potentially result in a hazard if you come close to them when working. Ensure you mark all the power lines as well as poles with clear markers. Keep in mind that you will need to ask permission from the electrical entity before marking any poles or power lines.
Conduct Safety Training for Workers
If you are the contractor or you are in charge of the job, make sure you train all the workers involved on electric safety related to working close to the overhead power lines. Ensure they understand all the risks involved and outline all the safe work procedures as well as emergency procedures they need to employ to stay out of danger.
De-energize the Power Lines
Before any work commences, contact the electrical company involved and request them to de-energize the power lines. Keep in mind that this could mean a power outage for all buildings connected to the power lines, so make sure you give notice early enough. Also, consider using insulated barriers to ensure there is no physical contact to any lines that could still be energised.
Contact an electrician if you need help with overhead power lines.