Work at height near power lines
Safety while working at height is generally focused on providing fall protection measures to the workers. But when working at height, there is another danger that employers need to be aware of. A danger that you can generally spot when looking up; overhead power lines.
Working near overhead power lines poses the risk of electrocution. Last year a video surfaced of a teenager throwing something against an overhead power line. The power lines gave off an electric shock, much like a lightning bolt, that nearly struck the teenager standing on the ground. So even when you do not touch the actual lines, electricity can “jump” across gaps. Being close to a power line for example when bringing construction materials to site, can be dangerous. To prevent electrocutions safety measures need to be taken when working near power lines.
As with any work situation, and especially when working at height, a risk assessment should be executed before starting work. Think about all the different jobs that need to be executed on the site and the potential risks employees face. Your analysis should take into account any situation that could lead to danger for a worker or the general public. If there are overhead power lines near the work site or near the edges of the worksite, contact the owners of the lines. Discuss the safety measures you want to take with them, to see if the proposed plan is accurate.
The risk assessment is not a static document, whenever the worksite changes new risks can arise that need to be covered.