What Is a Safe Distance When Working Around Power Lines?


Quick Answer

The minimum distance when working on construction around power lines depends on the voltage of the power lines. The standard recommended distance is a 20-foot radius around the line, but the distance can range from 10 to over 45 feet depending on the voltage.

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Full Answer

The level of risk to workers determines the minimum distance from power lines. Low-voltage lines (up to 50 volts) require a 10-foot clearance, increasing to a 45-foot clearance for high-voltage (1,000 volts or more) lines. If any equipment on the work site could come within the clearance zone of a power line, the owner of the construction company must either de-energize the power line or take measures to ensure workers do not get too close. These measures range from erecting physical barriers to using another employee as a "spotter" to tell machinery operators when to stop.

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