Before beginning assembly, disassembly, and/or equipment operations, follow these three steps.
1. Identify the work zone:
- Demarcate boundaries (such as with flags, or a device such as a range limit device or range control warning device) and prohibit the operator from operating the equipment past those boundaries, or
- Define the work zone as the area 360 degrees around the equipment, up to the equipment’s maximum working radius.
2. Determine if any part of the equipment could get closer than 20 feet to a power line. If so, the employer must meet one of the following requirements: Confirm that the power line has been de-energized and visibly grounded at the work site.
- Ensure that no part of the equipment gets closer than 20 feet to the power line by implementing the encroachment procedures.
- Determine the line’s voltage and the minimum clearance distance permitted under Table A (see below) and if any part of the equipment could get closer than the minimum clearance distance to the power line implement the encroachment procedures.
3. Encroachment Procedures (To be used if getting closer than 20 feet or the Table A Clearance Distances)
- Conduct a planning meeting to review the location of the power line(s) and the steps that will be implemented to prevent encroachment/electrocution.
- Utilize nonconductive tag lines.
- Erect and maintain an elevated warning line 20 feet from the power line or at the minimum approach distance under Table A (see below). If the operator is unable to see the elevated warning line, a dedicated spotter must be used.
- Before Operations commence, at least one of the following additional measures must be in place:
- Use a dedicated spotter.
- A proximity alarm set.
- A range control warning device.
- A range control limiting device.
- An insulating link/device.
Things to Remember
- If in contact with power lines, stay on the equipment.
- If you are not currently on the equipment DO NOT touch the equipment or anything else that is contacting the equipment.
- If you must leave the equipment, or area, jump free from the equipment and shuffle your feet in very small steps. After a power line contact, the current flows outward through the ground in a ripple pattern.
- Areas of high and low electrical potential fields circle the energized equipment like ripples in a pond after a stone hits the surface.