Overhead powerlines are structures used to distribute and transmit electrical energy. Sometimes, trees and plant material can grow to obstruct the lines, creating potential electrical hazards such as fire and power interruptions. Proper maintenance and pruning must be done to keep overhead lines operating safely.
What you Need to Know
When working near overhead powerlines you are at risk for electric shock. Coming into physical contact with a power line is not necessarily the only shock danger. Tools and equipment utilized in proximity to the lines can conduct electricity; electrical arcs and flashovers are possible sources of electrocution or shock.
Prior to trimming a tree, you should always:
- Contact your local electrical authority; receive authorization to complete the work
- Know the minimum safe working distances from power lines
- Assume any power lines are energized
- Ensure that the individual who will be completing the task has the appropriate qualifications
- Utilize insulated and insulating hand tools, aerial devices, and equipment
- Conduct a pre-work hazard assessment and take appropriate actions to prevent injuries or accidents
- Protect passerby and co-workers
- Inspect trees for any weaknesses prior to climbing
Personal Protective Equipment is required when overgrowth is removed and/or pruned from overhead powerlines. If you are unsure of the proper safety equipment, consult your direct supervisor, or your company’s safe working procedures document(s). PPE for this task can include (but is not limited to):
|· Gloves||· Appropriate Work Boots||· Non-Conductive Hard Hat|
|· Eye/Face Protection||· Ear Protection||· Chainsaw Pants|
|· Fall Protection||· Respiratory Protection||· Flame-Resistant Clothing|