Power Line Safety (up to 350 kV) – Equipment Operations

Greetings, I hope everyone is doing well this season especially as things start to reopen in the area, post-pandemic. This month’s safety corner is on “Power Line Safety,” found in OSHA, 29 CFR 1926.1408 under subpart CC, Cranes and Derricks in Construction. Before beginning equipment operations near power lines, the employer must:

  • Demarcate boundaries (such as with flags, or a device such as a range limit device or range control warning device) and prohibit the operator from operating the equipment past those boundaries, or
  • Define the work zone as the area 360 degrees around the equipment, up to the equipment’s maximum working radius.
  • Determine if any part of the equipment, load line, or load if operated up to the equipment’s maximum working radius in the work zone, could get closer than 20 feet to a power line. If so, the employer must meet the requirements in Option (1), Option (2), or Option (3) of this section, as follows:
Option (1) —Deenergize and ground. Confirm from the utility owner/operator that the power line has been deenergized and visibly grounded at the worksite.
Option (2) —20-foot clearanceEnsure that no part of the equipment, load line, or load (including rigging and lifting accessories), gets closer than 20 feet to the power line by implementing the measures specified in paragraph (b) of this section.
Option (3) —Table A clearance.

As always, stay safe out on the job sites and enjoy the summer!

Peter Carpenter
Co-Safety Officer