HSE: Avoiding danger from overhead power lines

Every year people at work are killed or seriously injured when they come into contact with live overhead electricity power lines. These incidents often involve:

HSEEvery year people at work are killed or seriously injured when they come into contact with live overhead electricity power lines. These incidents often involve:
• machinery, eg cranes, lorry-loader cranes, combine harvesters, and tipping trailers;
• equipment, eg scaffold tubes and ladders;
• work activities, eg loading, unloading, lifting, spraying, and stacking.

If a machine, scaffold tube, ladder, or even a jet of water touches or gets too close to an overhead wire, then electricity will be conducted to earth. This can cause a fire or explosion and electric shock and burn injuries to anyone touching the machine or equipment. An overhead wire does not need to be touched to cause serious injury or death as electricity can jump, or arc, across small gaps. One of the biggest problems is that people simply do not notice overhead lines when they are tired, rushing or cutting corners. They can be difficult to spot, e.g. in foggy or dull conditions, when they blend into the surroundings at the edge of woodland, or when they are running parallel to, or under, other lines. The law requires that work may be carried out in close proximity to live overhead lines only when there is no alternative and only when the risks are acceptable and can be properly controlled. You should use HSE guidance to prepare a risk assessment that is specific to the site. …Read More

 

 

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