NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Booms and power lines: a deadly combination.
Concr Const 1988 Apr; 33(4):416-419
Worker electrocutions occurring as a result of boomed vehicles contacting overhead power lines were discussed. Four cases in which vehicles were placed in close contact to power lines were reviewed. Drifting or moving of the boom caused the workers' electrocutions. Adherence to OSHA guidelines may have prevented these deaths. The guidelines state that 10 feet of clearance should be given to transmission lines rated 50 kilovolts or below. For each 1 kilovolt over 50 kilovolts, 0.4 inches should be added to the 10 feet. A minimum clearance of 4 feet is recommended for a vehicle in transit with the boom lowered. Besides being aware of OSHA standards, employers should have trained employees in safe material loading and unloading and site selection, correct use of outriggers, and proper emergency procedures such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Employers should also make sure that equipment is thoroughly inspected and equipped with warning signs, nonconductive pendant controllers and taglines, insulating links, proximity warning devices and boom guards. An additional person guiding the vehicle's movements is also suggested when a boom vehicle is in close proximity to power lines. The author states that besides being aware of OSHA guidelines, training and use of these standards will prevent further unnecessary deaths and electrocutions.
Construction-workers; Construction-equipment; Equipment-design; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Injuries; Artificial-resuscitation; Truck-drivers; Electrical-hazards
Issue of Publication
Page last reviewed: October 26, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division