General Requirements Around Power Lines

Operators should also maintain a safe speed when operating near power lines. Crane booms or truck-mounted trolleys using an electrical remote control system for loading and unloading can also be very dangerous. If the boom contacts a power line, the operator holding the control box is usually electrocuted instantly. This type of equipment should never be used near power lines. A non-conductive, pneumatic or radio remote control system is a much safer choice when working near power lines.

Overall, it’s important for operators and workers to receive the appropriate training to avoid danger zones where electrocution can occur. Operators should have workers observing nearby to assist them whenever it is difficult to visually maintain the necessary clearance. Be sure that any ladders, tools, and systems are non-conductive, and ask the electric company to de-energize and ground power lines or install insulation whenever people are working near them.

  • 29 CFR 1910.333(c)(3)—Selection and use of work practices—Working on or near exposed energized parts—Overhead lines
  • 29 CFR 1926.550(a)(15)—Cranes and derricks—General requirements—Electrical distribution and transmission lines.

Power line contacts most often occur because safety planning isn’t considered and preventative measures haven’t been taken to avoid hazards. Planning is one of the biggest accident deterrents available. To start, it’s important to establish who is in charge of pre-job safety planning before any cranes arrive at a worksite.