Power Lines Guidance

Added 1 Jan 2018
Last updated 1 Jan 2018

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Aerial work platforms (AWPs) are probably the safest way of doing temporary work at height. Stay safe when near to power lines/conductors.

  • Electrocutions were the single largest cause of fatalities to AWP operators in the US in 2012.
  • In 2013, all seven reported cases of electrocution worldwide occurred in the US, home of 54% of the world’s rental fleet.
  • The fatalities caused by electrocution involved mainly boom-type machines: mobile booms (3b) and static booms, which include truck-mounts and tracked machines (1b).

Electrocutions happen due to:

  • Operator or boom of AWP inadvertently coming too close or touching overhead cables
  • Lack of awareness of the proximity of overhead power lines
  • Complacency or lack of awareness of the voltage running through the cables
  • Moving the boom in the wrong direction when close to the overhead cables
  • Operating the boom erratically and not stopping when and where expected