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OSHA requirements when working near power lines

Many Minnesota residents who work in the construction industry, for utility companies and in other jobs frequently must perform their jobs in close proximity to power lines. If you are employed in such a field, you know the risks that you face when working near electrical lines. Your employer should protect you by following the safety requirements as outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

For work that is done near power lines up to 350 kV, there are several things that an employer could or should do in order to keep employee safe. One important element of the safety requirements provides the option to secure 20 feet around the radius of any equipment to be used near the power line area. This may include erecting barricades, installing warning devices or alarm, putting up visible flags or other indicators that power lines are near.

Employer may also choose to work with a power company to have the area de-energized and then grounded in order to ensure it is safe for workers to do their jobs without fear of electrocution. Utility companies or power line owners must be able and willing to let employers know the exact voltage of power lines in an area so that they know the exact level of power and risk that may be faced by their workers.

If you would like to learn more about the safety guidelines when it comes to working with electrical power lines, please feel free to visit the jobsite safety page of our Minnesota workplace accident and workers' compensation website.

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