Machinery & Power Lines
Call us before you work. Learn more about the laws and guidelines for working near power lines.
Protection from contact with overhead wiring is provided by ISOLATION - or distance - not by insulated covering. Operators of equipment like backhoes, dump trucks, bucket trucks, concrete pumpers, and booms and cranes should be especially conscious of overhead wiring. The hazard of contact is also posed to workers on scaffolding or those handling or moving any type of long tool or equipment like sections of metal pipe.
If your equipment contacts power lines, electricity may contact with the ground. If so, the earth becomes energized in a large area around the contact. The strength of the electrical charge decreases from the point of contact. This is why it is vital not to separate your feet since there may be a difference in the electrical charge under each foot. This difference could create an electrical path through your body.
If you make contact with a high voltage line while operating heavy equipment take the following precautions:
- Stay on the equipment, if possible, until help arrives
- Avoid touching any metal parts, and
- Try to break the contact by moving the machine.
If it is absolutely necessary to exit the machine, jump as far out as possible and make sure you do not fall back against the machine. Land with both feet together and hop or shuffle your feet a few inches at a time making sure to never break contact with the ground or cause separation between your feet. Don't walk or run. Get as far away as possible.