The Dangers of Working Near Downed Power Lines

You may have heard of accidents involving downed power lines and the car accidents that cause them. Downed power lines make car accidents especially dangerous because the driver will get out of the vehicle and instantly become electrocuted from the live wire. But what you may not have considered is the aftermath and what happens when a worker is left to pick up the mess of a downed power line, as well as the dangers that come along with it.

What Workers Need to Know About Downed Power Lines 

What people must remember is that downed power lines can cause an accident to turn fatal quite quickly, which is why it is important to assume that all power lines are energized and stay clear of them. Properly trained electrical utility workers handle damaged power lines all the time and understand how to work around them; however, this doesn’t mean that they will avoid all accidents. During winter weather conditions when these incidents are most prevalent, workers must learn the ins and outs of how to work around these situations without becoming electrocuted.

In one case, a worker was using a metal extension ladder to work on a house. He attempted to move the ladder by himself to take it to another section of the house, when it fell backwards as he was still holding onto it. The aluminum ladder then came in contact with an overhead power line and the electrical current in the line made its way back to the worker. This caused an instant fatality. Though these are not one of the most common accidents to occur in the workplace, they are still prevalent and workers must understand how to keep themselves safe in these circumstances.

The key to safe working is training workers to be watchful of these electrocution hazards when they are working near power lines. Working too closely can certainly expose an electric arc that results in burns, shock, or electrocution, which could easily become a fatal event. Workers should always be equipped with ladders that have non-conductive side rails. Staying safe starts with safety precautions learned in the workplace. If you have been injured in the workplace, call us today for a consultation to talk about your case and what we can do for you.