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Safety Tips for Contractors

  • Keep scaffolding and ladders away from power lines.
  • Always look up when extending a ladder or scaffolding and stay a safe distance away from overhead power lines.
  • When climbing to the roof, stay away from the point where electrical service enters the building.
  • When handling objects such as siding, gutters, scaffolding, ladders or antennas, always allow extra room for their long reach.
  • If you lose control of an object let it fall. Don’t risk accidental contact with power lines.
  • Dump truck operators should perform the “circle of safety” procedure before dumping to identify any danger.
  • Park at the dump spot.
  • Exit the cab.
  • Walk in a full circle around your truck.
  • Before you raise the dump body, make sure there are no hazards overhead.
  • If you’re unsure about safe clearances, contact IPL at 317.261.8111.
  • Have underground lines marked before you dig. Call the Indiana Underground Plant Protection Service at 800.382.5544 at least two full working days, excluding weekends and holidays, before digging. The service will contact the utility companies, which will send representatives to clearly mark the location of their underground facilities at the site.
  • Be sure the area is clear of power lines before operating booms, buckets and load lines.
  • Be extra cautious when working on or near trees through which power lines run. Even wood can conduct electricity.
  • Maintain OSHA-prescribed working clearances.
  • If in doubt about the hazards, call IPL at 317.261.8111. We can cover or de-energize the lines to help keep you safe.

If contact is made with equipment:

  • Don’t panic; remain inside the equipment (the cab of a truck, for example). Move the equipment away from the wires, if possible. Do not touch anything outside the vehicle.
  • If you are unable to move the vehicle away from contact with the wires, wait for help. If you must leave the vehicle, turn the engine off, set the vehicle’s parking break, and jump out or off so you are completely clear of the vehicle before you touch the ground. Land with both feet together and hop or shuffle away.
  • Never touch the ground and the equipment in contact with the wire at the same time.
  • Don’t touch anything – person, equipment or any other item – that is in contact with the electrical lines.
  • Make sure everyone stays clear of the equipment, its load and any power lines that these may be touching. All wires should be treated as energized and dangerous.
  • Be prepared to give CPR if necessary as soon as the person is free of electrical contact.

If someone makes direct contact:

  • Remember, seconds count! Call for medical help immediately. As soon as the victim is completely free from contact with the electrical wire, give first aid and CPR as necessary.
  • If victim is in shock, position the head lower than the feet and keep person warm. Do not give fluids to unconscious or nauseated victims.
  • If victim is burned, cut away loose clothing and immerse the burned area in cold water or cover the area with cold, wet compresses.
  • Instruct someone at the scene to direct emergency response personnel to the victim’s location.

OSHA Regulations

Please be sure to follow Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) regulations for the operation of cranes, booms and hoists, including power shovels, elevators and conveyors.

Kilovolt (kV)    

 Working Clearances 

Up to 50kV

10′

138kV

15′

345kV

22′


OSHA regulations specify safe distances from power lines on the basis of voltage. IPL recommends you maintain at least the following minimum clearances:It is against OSHA regulations to operate a crane or hoist so that any part of the equipment or the load is closer to an electric line than OSHA regulations specify. In order to work closer to electric lines than OSHA regulations specify, you must contact IPL at (317) 261-8111 before proceeding. The line must be covered or de-energized and visibly grounded at the point of work.

For help in determining electrical line voltages, proper clearances and safety precautions, contact IPL at 317.261.8111. If possible, please call a few days in advance.