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Request for assistance in preventing electrocutions during work with scaffolds near overhead power lines.

Braddee RW
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 91-110, 1991 Aug; :1-8
This alert described 13 deaths that occurred in six separate incidents when workers erected or moved scaffolds that came into contact with energized, overhead power lines, or when they contacted overhead power lines while using conductive tools or materials from scaffolds. Recommendations are offered for employers, managers, supervisors, and workers where scaffolds and conductive tools or materials are used near overhead power lines in an attempt to reduce the hazard and prevent these unnecessary deaths. All persons should comply with the current OSHA regulations for such work. Scaffolds should not be used or moved within specified minimal clearance distances from exposed, energized power lines. Employers should review existing safety programs and revise them where needed. Employers should develop and implement safety programs where none exist. Managers and workers should conduct initial and daily surveys at the worksite before beginning any job. Employers should inform workers about the hazards present. Employers should notify the utility company when scaffolds must be erected or moved so that these lines can be deenergized. Before a scaffold is erected or moved, workers must consider several safety factors. Clearance between the power lines and the scaffold should be monitored.
Construction-workers; Accident-analysis; Electrical-hazards; Electric-power-transmission-lines; Accident-prevention; Safety-practices; Electrical-shock; Construction-Search
Publication Date
Document Type
Numbered Publication; Alert
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 91-110
NIOSH Division
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 24, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division