IPAF, NCCCO promote power line safety, demonstrate proper technique

Overhead power lines

The International Powered Access Federation and National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators again teamed up at ConExpo-Con/Agg, this time focusing on the need to follow correct procedures when working around power lines.

Noting that electrocutions account for the majority of crane-related fatalities, NCCCO Executive Director Graham Brent, said confusing and complex regulations with respect to working around energized power lines often result in the requirements not being clearly understood.

At the joint Lift Safety Zone, IPAF demonstrated the recommended minimum approach distances when working from an aerial platform: 50 feet plus the fully extended boom length from electrical pylons; and 30 feet plus the fully extended boom length from cables on wooden pylons.

Tony Groat, IPAF North America manager, said these distances would meet or exceed those specified in ANSI standards and OSHA requirements. “Operators or supervisors are often not in a position to know the voltage in the power source. The IPAF recommendations are safe distances until the voltage is determined.”

For more information on aerial work platform safety, visit www.ipaf.org. For information on crane safety, visit www.nccco.org. OSHA has a free video, Prevent Electrocutions: Work Safely with Cranes near Power Lines, available for download or viewing on YouTube.