Working within 10' of overhead power lines is a matter of life safety. It's important to plan accordingly when building.
Construction season is in full swing in the Flathead Valley. People are building apartments, pole barns, businesses, and houses. That work often involves going up in the air on ladders, cranes, and bucket trucks. Recently, Flathead Electric Cooperative has responded to a few very close calls involving such equipment and overhead power lines. To stay safe during construction season, remember to look UP first!
If your materials or equipment will approach the 10’ buffer around power lines — whether they’re big distribution lines or smaller taps leading to your home or business — please call the Co-op for help before beginning your project. Think about how you will move your equipment during the project, too. Will your ladder potentially get too close to a power line when it’s time to move it to the other side of what you’re building? If the answer is yes, call the Co-op to make a plan.
Your Co-op reminds you that working within 10’ of power lines is not only an OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) violation on a construction worksite, more importantly, it’s a matter of life safety for anyone working near power lines. This is because of the increased risk of accidental contact between the power line and the unqualified worker or equipment. Only trained line workers and their support staff can work within the 10’ zone.
“Even our trained linemen don’t work near power lines without protective equipment. The risk is simply too high. One misstep around a high voltage power line can easily become fatal,” reflected Chad Green, Safety Coordinator for the Co-op.
To contact the Co-op about your project, please call 406-751-4483.