Working Close to Power Lines

  • Never get closer than 10 feet to a power line
  • Conduct initial and daily surveys of the worksite and implement control measures and training to address hazards at the site
  • Do not operate equipment around overhead power lines unless you are authorized and trained to do so
  • Do not forget to look up when surveying the worksite
  • Warn others if the minimum distance is not maintained
  • Never touch an overhead line if it has been brought down by machinery or has fallen
  • Never assume lines are dead
  • When a machine is in contact with an overhead line do not allow anyone to come near or touch the machine
  • Stay away from the machine and summon outside assistance
  • Never touch a person who is in contact with a live power line
  • Get certified in CPR
  • When working near overhead power lines the use of non-conductive wooden or fiberglass ladders is recommended
  • Avoid storing materials underneath or near overhead power lines
If you should be in a vehicle that is in contact with an overhead power line, DO NOT LEAVE
THE VEHICLE. As long as you stay inside and avoid touching metal on the vehicle, you may
avoid an electrical hazard. If you need to get out to summon help or because of fire, jump out (jump with both feet together and land both of them simultaneously) without touching any wires or machine, as far away from the machine as possible,
  • Do not leave your feet and do not shuffle your feet more than 8 inches apart from each other
  • Do not let anyone come to your aid until you are outside of the high voltage area.
Once the hazard is abated the equipment must be serviced and inspected for any defects caused by the

Scaffold Safety Part 2

Proper access must be provided to access the work platform of the scaffold.
  • Ladders that are a part of the scaffolding system, such as hook-on and attachable-ladders, shall be positioned so that the bottom rung is not more than 24 inches above the supporting level.
  • Portable extension ladders used to access the work platform must meet OSHA design and use criteria, which includes securing the ladder to the scaffold at the top and bottom and having the ladder extend at least three feet past the landing surface. Ladders must also be positioned so as not to tip the scaffold.
  • Stair-towers must have hand and midrails on each side of the stairway. Stairs must be at least 18 inches wide and have a landing platform at least 18 inches long at each level. Stair treads must be of slip-resistant design. The riser height must be uniform, and the stair angle must be between 40 and 60 degrees from the horizontal.
  • Cross Braces can NEVER be used as a method of access.
  • Openings for access points MUST be protected from fall hazards.
A competent person shall inspect the scaffold, scaffold components, and ropes on suspended scaffolds before each work shift and after any occurrence which could affect the structural integrity and authorize prompt corrective action.
  • Scaffolds must be tagged each day showing inspection status. Green Tag means safe to use and red Tag means not approved for use.
Scaffold frames (i.e. bucks) must be joined together vertically by coupling
or stacking pins (or equivalent means).
  • All frames MUST be secured together with safety pins.
Either the manufacturer’s recommendation or the following placements
shall be used for guys, ties, and braces: install guys, ties, and braces at the
closest horizontal member to the 4:1 height and repeat vertically with the
top restraint no further than the 4:1 height from the top:



A fall protection system (i.e. guardrail system) must be installed on all scaffolds with a working height greater than 6 feet.
  • Top rails must be between 38 – 45 inches above the platform
  • Capable of supporting at least 200 pounds applied in a downward or outward direction.
  • Midrails – installed midway between the toprail and the platform surface
    • Capable of supporting at least 150 pounds applied in a downward or outward direction.
  • Cross-bracing is not acceptable as an entire guardrail system but is acceptable for a toprail when the crossing point of the two braces is between 38 inches and 48 inches above the work platform and for midrails when between 20 inches and 30 inches above the work platform.
  • Personal fall arrest systems used on scaffolds are required when the guardrail system is incomplete or does not provide adequate protection. Lanyards or connecting devices must be connected to a vertical lifeline (1st choice), a horizontal lifeline (2nd choice), or a structural member of the scaffold (last choice).
    Toeboards must be installed on work platforms where materials or tools will be in use. Toeboards must be installed not more than 1/4 inch above the platform and securely fastened and be at least 3 ½ inches in height. They may be made of solid material or mesh with openings no greater than 1 inch. Toeboards must be capable of withstanding at least 50 pounds applied in a downward or outward direction.
    Additional protection from falling debris and other small objects must be provided in areas where personnel will be in the vicinity of scaffolds. Such protection may be in the form of:
    • Barricades to keep personnel out of a hazardous area,
    • Screens which are erected between the toe board and hand rail of the work platform,
    • Debris nets to catch materials before they hit the ground, or
    • Canopy structures made of solid materials.
    Large or heavy materials stored on the scaffold platform must be located away from the edges of the work platform and secured, if necessary.




    Platform/decking planks may be made of solid sawn wood, manufactured wood, manufactured steel, or manufactured aluminum. If solid sawn wood is used, it must be scaffold grade. Platforms must be free from defects.
    • End Splits – A separation that extends through the plank from face to face. End splits are caused by repeated exposure to wet/dry conditions. If an end split exceeds 18,” remove the plank from service.
    • Saw Cuts, Drilled Holes and Notches – Saw cuts across the face or through the edge of the plank, drilled holes or notches will reduce the plank’s load carrying capacity. Planks with saw cuts, drilled holes or notches should be removed from service.
    • Edge Splits – A separation of the narrow edge of the plank usually caused by forklift damage. A diagonal split may be caused by overloading. Probe the split to determine the depth; shallow weather checks are acceptable. If an open split is detected, remove the plank from service.
    • Dents, Gouges and Depressions – Dents can indicate internal structural damage. Dropping the plank or impact from heavy objects on the plank will dent the plank. Remove the plank from service and visually inspect the plank before reuse.
    • Face Breaks – Irregular cracks across the face of the scaffold plank. Usually a result of overloading, face cracks dramatically reduce the strength of the plank. Remove planks with face breaks from service.
    Wooden platforms (i.e. decking, planks) must not be painted to hide defects.
    Scaffolds must be fully planked or decked whenever possible.
    • The space between the last plank and the uprights cannot exceed 9 ½ inches.
    • The space between planks cannot exceed 1 inch, except where necessary for obstructions.
    • Platforms and walkways, in general, must be at least 18 inches wide.
    The ends of each platform must be cleated or restrained by hooks (or equivalent) to prevent accidental displacement, or must extend at least 6 inches over the centerline of the support.
    • The maximum extension of the plank cannot be more than 12 inches for planks that are <10 feet long.
    • The maximum extension of the plank cannot be more than 18 inches for planks that are >10 feet long.
    • Where platforms overlap to create a running scaffold, the overlap must occur only over a support and shall not be less than 12 inches unless nailed together.
    The platform shall not deflect more than 1/60 of the span when loaded.


    Scaffold Safety


    Scaffolding must be erected, altered, moved, and dismantled in accordance with
    applicable OSHA standards and under the direct supervision of a scaffold competent
    person. Scaffold components cannot be mixed if they are from different manufacturers unless they
    fit together without force. Unless the competent person has approved, scaffold
    components cannot be used if they are from different manufacturers or of dissimilar metals.


    Each employee who performs work on a scaffold shall be trained by a person qualified to recognize the hazards associated with the type of scaffold used and to understand the procedures to control or minimize those hazards. The training shall include such topics as the nature of any electrical hazards, fall hazards, falling object hazards, the maintenance and disassembly of the fall protection systems, the use of the scaffold, handling of materials, the capacity and the maximum intended load.


    Supported scaffold poles, legs, posts, frames, and uprights shall bear on base plates and mud sills (or other adequate firm foundation). The size of the mud sill shall be based on the type of soil the scaffold will
    be erected upon.
    • Base Plates MUST be nailed to the mud sills on at least 2 opposite corners to prevent slippage.
    • Unstable objects, such as bricks, cinder blocks, buckets, scrap lumber, etc., shall not be used to support or level scaffolds.
    • Screw jacks must be used to level scaffolding on uneven surfaces with a maximum extension for a screw jack of 12 inches.


    Supported scaffold poles, legs, posts, frames, and uprights shall be plumb (i.e. perfectly vertical) and braced to prevent swaying and displacement.
    • Cross-bracing is required on both front and back sides of each scaffold buck or frame.
    • To check a scaffold for being plumb, use a level on two opposite uprights.
    • To make sure the scaffold is level, use a level on a horizontal support or bearer.
    • To ensure the scaffold is “square”, use a tape measure and measure the distance between opposite corners. The two measurements should be equal.


    Safety Audits

    When the word audit is mentioned, people generally think of a negative experience, an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax audit or of a confrontation. However, it is possible for audits to be positive.
    First, let’s consider the definition of audit-
    Audit: A systematic or methodical review; to examine with intent to verify.
    Audits can apply to your job. From a safety standpoint there is only one way to do a job – the safe way. Safety needs to be the first consideration in everything we do. It is possible that we may not always be doing this, so our continuing efforts to review or think about our jobs are auditing. Our job audit should evaluate what we did record. If we take the time to at least mentally think out the steps that we go through to perform a task, we can audit it to ensure we are safe.
    Auditing ourselves Look at these things prior to completing a task:
    • PPE, do we have the correct eye protection? The correct gloves? Protective footwear?
    • Do we need any special PPE such as a chemical apron or a harness?
    • Is our PPE in good condition?
    • Do we have the correct tools and are they in good shape?
    • Do we know how to operate the tools or equipment?
    • Do we know how to accomplish the task safely?
    • Do we know the harmful energy sources around the area and have we isolated them?
    • Do I have the training to do this job?
    • Who is working around me?
    • Would I want my family watch me do this task this way?
    These are a just a few of the questions we should ask. However, they include some of the most important ones. Ensure you do a quick audit, prior to accomplishing a task. A more thorough one should be done if we’re doing something for the first time or for the first time in a long time.
    Take the time to ask yourself these questions, do not become complacent that the work is the same as it was yesterday.

    Dealer Tire Project Kicks Off

    Tire’s new headquarters project in the Midtown area of Cleveland kicked off
    recently. We are working on the 650-car parking deck that will be part of the
    company’s relocation. Learn more here.

    Hyatt Hotel at Legacy Village

    Congratulations to our team on the opening of the new Hyatt Place Hotel at Legacy Village in Lyndhurst, Ohio. The six-story, 135-unit hotel has been a year in the making. The project includes a five-level, 355-space parking deck, for which Donley’s also self-performed the cast-in-place structural concrete.

    Kaboom Playground

    This past week over 200 volunteers gave back to the community by building a new playground in Griot Village in the Fairfax neighborhood.  Many Donley employees were a part of the volunteer group.  The Kaboom playground took 6 hrs to complete and brought the entire neighborhood together.
    Our team included:
    • Bill LaphamGennaro Niro, Beau Baldwin, Dan Widener, Eric Nutter, Joe Sines, Joe Misencik, Preston Legg, Jeremiah Freeman, Robin Cogar, Ian Belch, Kyle Jewell, Fabio Pecchia, Zsolt Cseszneki, Ian Habyan, Lexus Frazier, Erik Zednik, Delonte Richmond, John Fyffe
    Read the news coverage here

    Lightning Strikes

    The average bolt of lightning carries over 100,000,000 volts and can reach out over 100 miles. It is estimated that the odds of being struck by lightning over your lifetime is 1 in 3,000. 
    There are many ways a strike can result in an injury.  A direct strike, usually results in cardiac arrest and/or stoppage of breathing.  A side flash may occur when the body of a person provides an alternate or parallel path for the current.  Conducted current from a lightning flash may range from a tingling shock to a massive current diverted from a poorly grounded electric power pole through the wiring system. Step voltage radiates out through the ground from a struck tree or pole. Fires and fallen trees from lightning strikes can also cause injury.

    Rubber-soled shoes provide absolutely no protection from lightning.  If you can hear thunder, you are within 10 miles of a storm and are within reach of lightning.  An automobile can offer protection by acting like a Faraday cage, provided that the occupants do not touch the metal of the car while inside. There are several things one can do if caught outdoors when a lightning storm strikes. Take shelter inside a building or car (do not touch any of the metal of the car while inside), and close the windows and doors. Get off equipment immediately. Get out of the water and get away from it. Do not take refuge under any tall, isolated object, such as a tree. Standing under a group of trees shorter than others in the area is better than being in the open. Avoid electric fences, clothes lines, telephone poles and any other conductor. Put down any object that might conduct electricity. If you are outside with no protection get to a low spot, make your body as low to the ground as possible but do not lay flat on the earth. Curl on your side or drop to your knees and bend forward putting your hands on your knees. If there is a group of people, spread out. If someone feels there hairs stand on end, it may mean lightning is about to strike.
    Stay calm and keep low.
    If someone is struck by lightning, they do not contain and electrical charge. Provide first aid immediately for any injury that is visible, and be prepared to provide CPR. Immediately call 9-1-1