Construction workers often work in dangerous settings. Follow these essential tips to stay safe when working near electrical equipment.
1. Call 811
A few days before the start of any digging project, be sure to call 811 to prevent damage to underground lines.
2. Assess the Worksite
Take inventory of any potential hazards, making sure to look up and around to determine the location of overhead power lines. Take extra precautions when operating heavy equipment that may interfere with the overhead lines.
3. Contact the Electric Co-op
Always contact the local electric co-op before working near overhead power lines. The utility will coordinate with you to ensure it’s safe to work around their electrical equipment.
4. Be Proactive
Treat all power lines as energized. Work with the local electric co-op to safely operate equipment near power lines.
5. Know What to Do
If your equipment contacts a power line, stay in the cab, and call 911. If you must exit due to a fire, fold your arms across your chest and jump out, taking care to not touch the ground and the equipment at the same time. Shuffle or hop with your feet together until you’re at least 40 feet away.
6. Keep a Lookout
Always use a spotter when operating heavy equipment near overhead power lines. This spotter should have no responsibilities other than keeping a lookout for safety concerns.
7. Follow OSHA Guidelines
Comply with all OSHA requirements and applicable state and federal safety regulations.