Working Around Overhead Power Lines? Tips on Staying Safe

Posted on: 8 May 2020

Overhead power lines are a safety hazard. Working close to these power lines increases the risk of electrocution. Most workers, however, forget the safety risk of electrical power lines. Apart from electrocution, there are also other safety hazards for working near overhead power lines. For instance, a metal gutter could touch the power line as you are installing it. The impact from the shock could knock you off to the ground. Therefore, you end up suffering from injuries or dying. That is why you should learn how to stay safe whenever you work near overhead power lines.

Keep a Safe Distance

Keeping a safe distance from the power line is the best way to remain safe. Contact the power line operator to find out how much voltage the wires are carrying. That will enable you to know how close you can get to the line and work safely. The voltage and your jurisdiction determine the safe working distance. Most safety authorities offer a chart of the least distance to work for various voltages. Thus, find out the laws in your jurisdiction for the safe working distance near overhead power lines.

Contact Your Power Line Operator

If there is ever the chance that you are working near the power lines, then contact your power operator. As mentioned, the operators will let you know how much voltage is in the power lines. The voltage determines the right safety measures to take. Also, some jurisdictions require you to inform the power line operator before you begin any work around the overhead lines. 

The power line operator could even offer help in getting proper protection. For instance, you may want to work closer to the power lines than the designated distance. The power operators can help de-energise the power lines as you work or ensure the wires have enough insulation. Sometimes, these operators can reroute the cables to ensure the work continues.

Always Look Up

It is vital to look up and note the location of the power lines before you begin working. You can get serious injures or die if the object you are standing on or holding comes into contact with the power lines. Thus, always check all directions for power lines before you raise or extend any equipment. You should be extra careful when working around trees as they can sometimes hide the power lines.


The best way to avoid injuries from overhead power lines is by following the right safety measures. Regulations are useless if you are not following them.