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Mine Safety and Health Administration MSHA's Accident Prevention Program
Miner's Tip

Overhead Powerline Safety

Safety Something YOU can live with!
Mine Type: All Surface
Category: Electrical

A fatality occurred when a contract electrician was installing power lines to an elevated electrical box mounted on the side of a building. The victim swung the man lift away from the work area and came into contact with a high voltage power line.

Overhead Powerline Safety When working near overhead power lines there are techniques to use to prevent serious accidents and fatalities. These include de-energizing lines (first and foremost), maintaining appropriate distances from energized lines, installing guarding, and using an observer on the ground to prevent contact with obstructions. For more information please see this safety idea.

Ted Kaler of Hooksett Crushed Stone reminds us, "(This tip) was derived following a toolbox talk and the crew giving the following input. When personnel are working with man lifts in the area of open electrical power lines, there should be a second person (on the ground) monitoring the activity of the person in the lift basket." Remember de-energizing and marking electrical lines reduce the risk of electrocution. Also, having another set of eyes "spotting" will reduce the risk hitting these power lines and other potential obstructions.

MSHA extends a thank you and a tip of the hardhat to

Ted Kaler and "THE Crew",
a winner of a limited edition sticker and patch.

If you have a tip you would like to pass on, you can e-mail it to If your tip is selected, you will receive credit in this space.

Issued: 09/21/2005
Tag # AP2005-89674