Overhead Line Safety
Assume all lines are energized and potentially dangerous.
Keep personnel and equipment at least 10 feet from overhead lines at all times. Consider how close aerial equipment will be when fully extended, and use a spotter to monitor placement.
OSHA requires greater than 10 feet of clearance from lines that are over 50,000 volts. For example, the minimum clearance for a 500,000-volt line is 18 feet. There are no visible markers to identify a power line’s voltage, so call the local electric utility for clearance information if you are unsure.
Ladder Hits Lines; Firefighter Dies
Three firefighters were positioning a 35-foot aluminum extension ladder outside a three-story building with an active fire on the third floor. Two of the firefighters apparently slipped and lost control of the ladder, which fell against a 7,600-volt power line. One firefighter was killed and one was seriously injured.