Working Too Closely to the Danger
Two of the workers were in the bucket; a third worker was standing on the ground. “When they extended the lift, it came within about 6 inches of the high-power lines and arced to the equipment,” the Utica Fire Chief said.
Standards for the Construction Industry
CFR 1926 Subpart K is the standard for work done around electricity for the construction industry. It addresses the hazards of using electricity at jobsites as well as hazards from accidental contact with all energized lines. This includes requirements concerning employee training, how to use a ladder safely, working around an electrical circuit, and providing medical attention if a serious injury occurs.
Standards for Other Industries
CFR 1910 talks about standards for workers in other industries. It specifies minimum distances away from energized equipment that workers must be if they are using conductive tools. A best practice is for employees to use non-conductive tools – insulated tools, for example – and always wear protective gloves. Don’t use metal ladders when working near power lines.
Don't Let It Happen to You!
Every day at every job site, step back, survey the whole scene, and ask some pointed questions:
- Are there any power lines near the job area?
- What precautions have been taken?
- Has every possibly dangerous situation been communicated to workers on site?
- Has anything changed since the previous day’s work at that site?
- Are there any new workers to the job who are not familiar with the surroundings?
…and perhaps one of the most important question used by firefighters and other emergency response personnel is simply, “Is the scene safe?” Asking this simple question will increase awareness of company employees to workplace hazards that otherwise might go unrecognized.
These hazards can certainly involve electrical overhead hazards, but also can be things like mobile equipment close to the worksite, pedestrians who “mean well”, overhead suspended loads, or mechanical lines under pressure. These hazards, although not specifically electrical in nature, account for many workplace injuries and fatalities, simply because personnel on the site are not even aware of their existence. Scene safety thinking is the key to making any workplace safer, and even more critical when electrical lines or equipment is in the vicinity.
How Can e-Hazard Help You?
Find out more about e-Hazard’s Arc Flash Safety for Utilities 1910.269 and High Voltage classes. If your company does not fall under either category, we can customize our material to fit your needs. Let us help you find answers to your questions! Call us at (502) 716-7073 or email us, using the link below.