Focus Four Toolbox Talks, Module 4 – Electrocutions, Talk #5 – Electrocutions

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IUOE National Training Fund

Summary Statement

A toolbox talk on how to stay alive if your equipment hits a power line. Includes questions to ask, an incident to discuss with images, and a place to record questions the trainer would like to ask about the incident. Part of a collection. Click on the 'collection' button to access the other items.

How do you stay alive when your equipment contacts a power line?

Ask the following questions and give time for answers.

  • What are the hazards? Electrocution due to equipment contacting power lines
  • What are the results? Shock, fire, burns, falls or death
  • What should we look for? Power lines near the operation, possible underground utilities, evidence of energized equipment (equipment that has come within 10’ or that has contacted a power line or an arc flash), method to call for help, safe place to jump clear of equipment

Relate this incident or better one you know.

Actual Incident: In 2003, a 53-year-old construction worker was electrocuted and died when the forklift he was guiding hit an overhead power line and became energized. The victim was connected to the forklift by a cable he was holding. The system arced to the grass and caught the grass on fire. The operator initially stayed in the cab until the fire spread to the forklift then jumped clear as instructed in prior training..

Ask the following question and ensure every item is covered.

How do we survive contact with power lines?

  • Keep equipment at least 10’ away from powerlines.
  • Stay on machine if possible.
  • Alert others to stay clear and notify the utility company.
  • Attempt to move away if you can ensure line is not connected to equipment.
  • If you must bail out, jump clear with both feet together and shuffle or hop away.
  • Do not touch the machine and ground at the same time.

Ask the following questions about this site and ensure every item is covered. Give this talk near an actual piece of equipment if possible.

Let’s talk about this site now.

  • What are the rules for working near power lines? Stay at least 10’ away, only dig when utilities are confirmed
  • What must you do if your equipment contacts a line? Stay on equipment, alert others, get utility company, if need be use proper bailout procedure
  • Who here would like to demonstrate proper bailout procedures?

Record questions below that you want to ask about this site.