Best Practices

Construction Safety Tips: Working near Power Lines

Construction projects often require workers to operate in close proximity to power lines. The problem is, when working near power lines, electrocution becomes a real threat. Even minor or momentary negligence can lead to potentially fatal consequences. In this article, we outline some essential construction safety tips to help keep crews safe on the job.

Conduct a comprehensive risk assessment

Before beginning any construction project that involves people working near power lines, it is crucial to perform a thorough risk assessment of the jobsite. It’s important to identify all potential hazards, assess the voltage levels of nearby power lines, and plan construction activities accordingly. When conducting your risk assessment, we recommend including experienced personnel and utility companies in order to gain valuable insights and ensure the right safety measures are in place.

Work at a safe distance

One of the most important construction safety tips when it comes to working near power lines is to maintain adequate distance between workers and equipment and the electricity. Recommended minimum distances can vary based on the voltage of the power lines and local regulations, but we suggest keeping at least 10 feet of clearance.

Implement proper training

Construction workers should undergo comprehensive training regarding power line safety. Training should include recognizing power line hazards, understanding electrical risks, and using appropriate safety equipment. Additionally, training programs should emphasize the importance of always being vigilant and aware on the jobsite and following all safety protocols.

Use warning signs and barricades

A key part of construction safety is to clearly identify, mark, and, in some cases, barricade all potential hazards, including power lines. These warning systems should be highly visible and positioned at appropriate distances from the hazard to improve safety awareness among the construction crew.

Utilize insulated tools and equipment

When working near power lines, construction crews should be equipped with insulated tools and equipment to minimize the risk of electrical contact. Insulated gloves, ladders, and other tools can prevent electric current from flowing through the worker's body in the event of accidental contact. Regularly inspect and maintain these tools to ensure their effectiveness and construction site safety.

Employ spotters and communication protocols

We recommend establishing clear communication protocols and using spotters when necessary. Spotters can help guide equipment operators and workers, ensuring they remain a safe distance from any power lines. Implement effective communication methods, such as two way radios or hand signals, to stay in contact and maintain construction site safety.

Monitor weather conditions

Be vigilant about weather conditions when working near power lines, as storms and high winds can cause wires to sag and fall. It is essential to have a procedure in place for suspending work and seeking shelter when severe weather conditions are present.

Regularly inspect power lines and equipment

Routinely checking power lines and equipment to identify and address potential hazards is crucial for construction site safety. Notify the appropriate authorities or utility providers if any power line problems are noticed during your construction project.

Working near power lines requires carefully following construction safety tips. If you have any questions, please contact our team today!