Contact with overhead power lines is the leading cause of electrical fatalities for agricultural workers. Of the 1,001 reported power line contact incidents from 2003-2009, nearly 70% resulted in death. Luckily, these fatalities can be prevented by following these simple steps while on the job.
Locate all overhead power lines
Keep self and equipment 10 feet away from all overhead power lines
Do not touch anything that is in contact with the power line
Beware of fencing near power lines
Carry ladders and other equipment horizontally
Lower equipment apparatus before driving
Never spray near power lines with irrigation systems
Train-the-Trainer Overhead Power Line Safety Program
Agricultural workers are essential to many aspects of our everyday lives from the food we eat to the clothes we wear. The conveniences they provide come at a cost, as they face many hazards in their workplace. Existing trainings already address the risks of heat exhaustion, dehydration, and pesticides but the industry has been less proactive about providing training regarding overhead power lines. Electricity is uniquely unforgiving when proper procedures are not followed, and it is essential that workers are informed and reminded of safe practices around power lines. This training will demonstrate the very immediate need for such trainings as well as the appropriate actions necessary to avoid injury or death caused by overhead power lines on the
ESFI’s train-the-trainer program can help teach managers how to to educate their employees at the work-site about the dangers of overhead power lines.
This training will cover the following:
Why this training is important
Examples of hazardous situations associated with overhead power lines
Providing effective tips to prevent harm caused by overhead power lines
Appropriate actions following an incident involving overhead power lines
Paper: Occupations Most At-Risk in Fatal Overhead Power Line Incidents
This paper, titled “Occupations Most At-Risk in Fatal Overhead Power Line Incidents: Using OSHA Data to Get a Better Understanding” examined all electrical cases investigated by OSHA from 2000-2011 to determine the industries and occupations that often sustain injuries from overhead power line incidents as well as the scenarios associated with these events.
ESFI President Brett Brenner and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Senior Member James C. Cawley, P.E., co-presented the paper at the 2015 IEEE IAS Electrical Safety Workshop taking place January 26-30 in Louisville, KY.