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Electrical Safety Tips For Large Equipment Operators

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Operating large equipment is a dangerous job. Among the many dangers, is the threat of electric shock. Safe Electricity has a quick checklist of safety considerations for large equipment operators to keep in mind before beginning any job:

  • Make a plan each morning. Know where power lines are and how you plan to stay clear of them.
  • Keep machinery, equipment and yourself at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines in all directions, at all times. Higher voltage lines require a greater distance be maintained. If you are uncertain of the voltage, maintain a distance of 18 feet.
  • Use a spotter to help you stay clear of power lines.
  • Power lines begin to sag over the years. If sagging power lines are in your way, do not raise them. Call your utility to fix the power lines and raise them high enough for you to work.
  • Weather should be a consideration in your daily plans. Keep in mind that tall objects could be blown out of control by the wind, and particles in water are a good conductor of electricity. Some activities are not appropriate for a damp or windy day.
  • If you are on equipment that becomes entangled in power lines, do not step off the equipment. When you step off the equipment, you become the path to ground and receive an electric shock that could be fatal. Stay put, call the utility for assistance, and warn others not to come near the equipment. Then wait for utility professionals to shut of electricity to the power line, and confirm it is safe to exit equipment.
  • Be sure everyone you are working with knows proper safety procedures and emergency contacts