Electricity is one of the leading causes of death for tree-care workers. Tree branches can sometimes be close to power lines, and when trees are uprooted by powerful storms, there is a chance they can take power lines and transformers down with them. Live power lines can pose serious hazards if not fixed properly. Tree-care workers need to know how to stay safe in such conditions.
|Electricity is one of the leading causes of death in the tree-care industry. Workers need to know how to keep themselves and the public safe when electricity poses risks at the worksite
- If there is a power line present, never assume that it is safe to touch.
- Assess the worksite for fall and falling object hazards.
- Have an emergency plan.
- Wear properly insulated footwear and other personal protective equipment in case electricity travels through the ground unexpectedly.
- Consider asking the utility company to de-energize nearby power lines.
Follow Safe Work Practices
- Maintain a distance of at least 10 feet from overhead lines, and more than 10 feet if the voltage to ground is over 50 kilovolts.
- Avoid direct and indirect contact with an energized conductor, such as a power line or a tool touching a power line.
- Stand away from grounding elements, as power can travel through the ground.
Wear the Right Gear
- Wear proper gloves and shoes for hazards present wherever tree work is being performed.
- When electrical hazards are present, use rope that provides appropriate insulation and is free of moisture and contaminants.
- Assume that all power lines are energized at all times.
- Anticipate when limbs might fall onto power sources.
- It only takes a moment for a fatality to occur. Always stay alert and be prepared for potential hazards.