Safely Working Around Power Lines is Just as Important as Your Morning Coffee
Many businesses are not aware of the regulations for working around powerlines even though it is an extensive part of the crane operator certification exam. In fact, many couldn't even define when a crane is considered to be "near" powerlines. This is important because if the crane is "near" powerlines, certain safety precautions must be followed per federal regulation. These precautions can include de-energizing and grounding the lines, maintaining prescribed distances away from the lines, and/or using a dedicated safety spotter; all depending on the situation and needs. These distances are designed not only to prevent powerline contact but to put the crane and load far enough away that arc is also not a danger.
Sadly, if these regulations were followed, many workers would still be alive and well today. Powerline encroachment is a completely avoidable hazard with just a few precautions put in place before the work begins. Remember, if the crane becomes energized, someone could be hurt or killed before you even know an accident has taken place. Contact the utility company in advance and set up the proper prohibited zone to keep everyone safe.